3rd Annual Fishing Event For Special Needs Children A Continued Success

By Benjamin Cox on June 11 at 8:20am

Bobbers, worms, and a big jumper out on the line. The Jacksonville Kiwanis hosted their 3rd annual Take Me Fishing Event Saturday morning at Nichols Park in Jacksonville.

Participants line the banks at Nichols Park in hopes of capturing a prize at the annual fishing derby.

Tom Glossop, who organizes the event for children with developmental and learning disabilities, explains the event’s history. “The first year was more of a learning process in organization. Even though we had some pretty good publicity that year, we only had 5 entrants. Last year, our second year, we had 15 people register. This year we had 19 children register.”

Glossop helps one of the participants measure one of the fish he just caught.

Glossop explains why the Kiwanis put on the fishing event: “It all started when Mark Gillespie was president of the Kiwanis. He asked me to do a fishing derby for children. The Kiwanis special emphasis is helping children of the world. I told Mark that there were already two big fishing derbies in town for kids – one by the Elks and one by the Jacksonville Bass Club. I said why don’t we target  children with developmental and learning disabilities because sometimes they don’t get a chance to participate or don’t want to participate. Let’s do something for them. It’s been really worthwhile for me. Helping the children bait their hooks or catch a fish. Just seeing that smile on their face is worth more than a million bucks.”

The tournament wrapped up at 11 AM Saturday morning with children receiving prizes and trophies in several age categories.