Junior anglers get chance to reel in catch of a lifetime alongside Chiefs great
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) - Nearly 200 junior anglers in the Kansas City area got the chance to reel in the catch of a lifetime alongside a Kansas City Chiefs great.
The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance says nearly 200 young anglers and their families lined the banks of Troost Lake in the heart of Kansas City along with members and other community volunteers as well as retired Kansas City Chiefs running back Priest Holmes on Saturday, Sept. 10, for its 2nd Annual Greater Kansas City BCTC Take Kids Fishing Day.
“Take Kids Fishing Day gave kids and parents from different economic backgrounds an opportunity to learn about the outdoors through fishing and build their confidence in handling rods, reels and baiting hooks,” said Holmes, who is actively involved in the NFL Players Association and the USA. “There were lots of memories made. I watched one boy pull worms out of a bait cup with so much interest. Other kids said they have never fished before. I encouraged them for trying something new and challenged them to keep fishing after the event.”
The USA noted that all young anglers were given a free fishing rod and reel to ensure they have the chance to continue fishing for years to come. Many of the children even won additional outdoor gear in giveaways held during lunch.
According to the Alliance, 33 volunteers from unions around the Greater Kansas City area as well as staff from sponsor organizations provided participants with hands-on instruction and help with their new rods along with tips on how to reel in a big one.
“Our communities don’t often get to experience the value of labor, but this year’s location really helped everyone understand that labor is not just an organization,” said Alise Martiny, business manager of the Greater Kansas City BCTC. “I couldn’t be more pleased by the volunteer turnout and how hard everyone worked to prepare for the event—especially the members of Iron Workers Local 10.”
Dave Coleman, business manager and financial secretary-treasurer of Iron Workers Local 10, said he was equally impressed by the diversity of union trades that volunteered.
“I think it really shows what the building trades is all about – giving back to the community,” he said. “And I think it’s important to give inner-city youth the opportunity to fall in love with the outdoors. One boy I was fishing with had never caught a fish before, and he hooked a 14″ channel cat—he was so excited.”
To teach children that fishing is not just fun, but can also be a source of food, the USA said the Missouri Department of Conservation set up a fish cleaning demonstration at the event.
“In an age of cell phones, tablets, video games, TV screen and other devices vying for children’s attention, events like this are more important than ever to get both kids and adults away from electronics and immersed in the outdoors together,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Walt Ingram. “We are deeply thankful to the Greater Kansas City BCTC and to all the union and partner volunteers who turned out to give participating families a fun and educational experience and spark their interest in fishing.”
The USA said the free event was hosted along with the Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council and was supported by the Priest Holmes Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City, Kanas City Parks, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Marriott Hotels and USA’s Take Kids Fishing Day Host Sponsor Humana.
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