High Fives at the 2016 Lake Calaveras event!

A new year has arrived and dozens of C.A.S.T. for Kids events are being planned across the nation for some special children and their families. Many of these events are going to be held for the first time as well as some that have been held for years and years. Each event is a chance for a local community to combine some of its resources and extremely talented and caring individuals together to help give some children with some challenging disabilities a new, fun and much needed experience. All of us at the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers that have donated their time and resources to help make these events happen. Without you they would not be possible. We would also like to encourage anyone who has not been involved as a volunteer to step up and give it a try, you may find that your life can be changed just as much as the children you are helping.

Anyone who would like to help leading up to and at a C.A.S.T. for Kids event is welcome. Boat captain volunteers can, but don’t have to be, a local bass pro or guide, just bring your boat – big or small – and maybe a co-captain, and share it for half a day with a special child and their parent. If you aren’t into fishing but own a boat and enjoy boating, come on out. Riding in a boat is often the kid’s favorite part of each event. Pontoon or deck boats are particularly good for events, they are very stable and provide a good platform for kids that are in a wheelchair. Local high school fishing teams are becoming more and more popular these days, what a great way for these young fishermen to help give back to their community than sharing their love of fishing with some special kids their own age! Bass and fishing clubs across the nation have always been great supporters of C.A.S.T. events as well as local boat dealerships.

If you don’t own a boat and would like to help, there are plenty of opportunities. Some may know of or own a local restaurant or grocery store and can help by providing and serving food, ice and drinks. You may work for a local business that can help provide a sponsorship towards the event or a couple of volunteers to help with the registration or the awards ceremony. Members of a local church can help by providing tables and chairs. You may be part of a local service club and want to help with cooking or serving lunch. Many schools have Anchor Clubs whose members are great for volunteering and helping at special events, as well as special education teachers who can help and in many cases know several of the children attending the event. Some of the best volunteers are retired and just love being involved with these great kids and are willing to help with anything from fitting and buckling up life jackets to helping families in and out of boats or with shore fishing.

Every volunteer will be rewarded in some way during an event day. It may come in the form of a quick, shy smile or be a big happy hug or hi-five. For many, just seeing the happiness on a child’s face as they ride in a boat, catch and land a fish, or receive their plaque at the awards will be enough to make their own day. Volunteering is a great way for each community to bring everyone together, make new friends and contacts and help bring an unforgettable day to these special children and their families. Join us this year and help us make your communities’ C.A.S.T. for Kids event one to remember.