By DAVID TUMA
The Belton Journal
C.A.S.T. For Kids Miller Park Pond Presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance was a fun filled event held Saturday in Temple.
Volunteers got there early and more than 30 area special needs children got to catch rainbow trout. There were donuts, coffee and orange juice waiting on those that volunteered and the big-time fisher-people.
C.A.S.T. For Kids started back in 1991 and over the years has served more than 130,000 children and over 2,000 warriors. This is made possible by the help of over 79,000 volunteers. The children’s eyes glowed with delight, every time a kid hauled in a fish. The volunteers worked hard trying to put the kids on the best spot.
Miller Park Pond has a spillway and that area seemed to produce the most fish. C.A.S.T even cleaned the fish for the kids. On a cold windy morning there was a solid turnout with kids coming from different areas of Texas to participate.
“I have volunteered for years. We (volunteers) get more out of this event than the kids. The kids get a lot out of this event,” said Darren Perkins of Belton.
The Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas was on hand bringing 10 fisherfolks from the Killeen area.
“We do this each year. The kids look forward to this event. They get a lot out of it. I enjoy this part of my job. It has a positive impact on the kids,” said Boys Club Program Director Marvin Moon.
Pedro Soto drove down from Waco to volunteer at the event.
He said “I have always been involved with the fundraiser for the event. Been one of the donors. I got invited to come out and help the kids catch fish. I am having a blast. This is simply awesome.”
“It is a year round event to put on. The support staff at CAST is unlike anything I have worked with in these types of events. They are off the chart to work with. We had 60 registered volunteers and 40 kids signed up. Had somewhere over 100 people at the event today. I love doing this. Kids from all over the state come here to fish. It’s fun watching them get so excited catching a fish,” said one of the coordinators of the Temple event, Alan Jones of Belton.
Each kid is given a plaque that attends. Fishing poles, tackle boxes and bait are provided. The trout were hungry even with the cold weather. Those bobbers were going under on a regular basis for a cold February morning.
Even if you cannot participate just seeing the joy on those children’s faces was worth attending. Many of these volunteers are serious outdoorsmen. They definitely wanted a child to assist on that cold morning.