By: Trp. Tom Spencer K-241 Photo’s by: Mike Briley
There are events and then THERE ARE EVENTS!! This year’s Kansas Highway Patrol C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event was every bit as special for 39 young disabled or disadvantaged children. For some of these young children it was the first time in a Bass Boat, first time up close to Law Enforcement, and the first time to catch a fish. All eyes were upon them as they and their parents rolled into Harvey County East Lake just after dawn. The first thing there little eyes saw were the big trucks and bass boats all lined up and in position to unload into the water. Then, it was what seemed like miles of Kansas Highway Patrol vehicles lined up along the roadway that they had to pass on the way to the parking area. On the way to the registration tables they were able to set in the patrol vehicles, ask questions of troopers and see first hand what a State Trooper’s vehicle looks like and what’s in them. They proudly displayed the Junior Trooper Stickers given to them. If only recruiting was this easy.
June 18, 2011 was another perfect day for our sixth annual Kansas Highway Patrol Cast for Kids fishing event at Harvey County East Lake in Newton, Kansas. Considering the Kansas weather, again we were lucky as the rain and bad weather left us in the early morning hours and gave us a beautiful day of fishing.
By now the children have spotted the brand new Zebco rods and reels, tackle boxes, hats, shirts and there little eyes are as wide as fifty-cent pieces and excitement is in the air everywhere. By the time this day is over they will all, “Catch a Special Trill.” There were some first’s for us this year. We changed lake locations for the first time in six years and this year the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation celebrated its 20 year anniversary which meant a very nice ball cap and a special t-shirt and a water bottle for each participant.
We kicked off the event with a prayer and the National Anthem performed by Motor Carrier Inspector Fred Johnson. Kansas Highway Patrol Administrative Assistants Angela Grammer, Renae McCrory, and Elizabeth Turner, helped with registration, setup, and awards. They were a big part of the event running so smoothly. Kansas Motorist Assist Officer Mike Briley took photos making sure every child had a photo that could be placed in their plaque. Mike has been our photographer for five years running and does an awesome job. We had over twenty troopers partnering with the kids this year which is what this program is all about. They also signed plenty of autographs with K-numbers for the kids. Sedgwick County Sheriffs Deputies Bill Felix and Dave Rank handled the sound system for us again. They have been our partners since the events began.
I would like to mention another guy who has helped us with our events every year. Larry Shoop ( WWW.COPSNBOBBERS.COM ). Larry is a Deputy with the Johnson County Sheriffs Department. He brought a special gift for our participants this year and each received a soft pack cooler filled with goodies.
A few new partners that made this event possible were Park Manager Cass Miller who went above and beyond in making the event a success. Officer Jennifer Motes with the Halstead Police Department, Trooper J. Dryden K295, and Melanie Watkins with Harvey County District Court were instrumental in getting the word out to the children of Harvey County that could benefit most from our event.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, when you look at the photos from this event it’s easy to see why our event is so special. All of the photos from this year’s event can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.