Excitement, anticipation, energy, and all those other emotions connected to a great event you’ve been looking forward to for a while! Saturday, July 25 was the Second Annual Fishing for Special Needs 2015 event at Gray’s Creek Marina. It would take forever to name and thank everyone who contributed to making this a stellar event. Proceeds from the event will go toward fulfilling a dream—to acquire a clubhouse for special needs people in the area, to be named the Include Me Inn Activity Centre.
A lot like an old-fashioned fair, there was meeting and greeting of friends old and new, an amazing BBQ lunch, dozens of fishing rods prepared and lined up on a hillside, tents, picnic tables, coolers of water everywhere, a raffle of amazing items donated for the fundraiser. Art Levert, founder of the Include Program Team of employees and volunteers, all in colourful Include T-shirts could be spotted everywhere seeing that everyone was enjoying the event. A team of city firefighters and two trucks added to the excitement, and photographers took aerial shots of the crowd from the raised bucket.
Fourteen boats and their captains were available to take out the fishing folks and some family members and volunteers. Teams in different coloured ball caps got a brief talk on safety on the water, tips on how to unsnag the hook, and lots of encouragement about catching “the Big One”. It was so much fun to watch the exchanging of life jackets to get just the right fit, shuffling to decide who sits where, and the cheers when the various watercraft left the Marina. Cameras everywhere, and folks didn’t say “cheese”, they shouted “Fishing!”
Mid-afternoon the boats returned to shore, with lots of teasing, fishing tales of the one that got away, slightly exaggerated stories of fish size, friendly rivalry. Medals were given to participants, photos taken, and talk of getting together again soon. It was a day of friendship, families, encouragement, enjoying the beautiful Gray’s Creek Conservation Park, shared memories and stories. To see more photos of the event, check it out at www.includeprogram.org or call the office at 613- 935 5888 to learn more about the Include Program and its great team.