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Oct. 21, 2019
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C.A.S.T. for Kids/Lanier seeks boats

By Pamela A. Keene
Building on its success last year, C.A.S.T. for Kids/Lanier is seeking boats and captains for its 2019 event, slated for August 10.
 
“We would like to introduce up to 40 youngsters with special needs to our program and fishing this year,” said Laurie Morgan, who helped her son Jackson Morgan, now 14, create the North Georgia event as part of a school project. “Last year we had 28 kids and 28 volunteer captains, so we’re increasing that number for 2019.” 
 
C.A.S.T. for Kids is a national initiative of the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation that, according to its mission, “enriches the lives of children with special needs, supports their families, and strengthens communities through the sport of fishing.” 
 
The program on Lake Lanier is managed by volunteers. Morgan starts early to recruit volunteer boats and captains. “You don’t have to know how to fish,” she said. “We have volunteer fishing guides who go on the boats with the kids and a parent, plus another helper from our group.”
 
The organization provides bait, tackle, life jackets and other items for participants. Following a morning of fishing and prizes, lunch is provided for the volunteers by the Georgia Barbecue Association. Other funds are provided through donations. 
 
“Many of these youngsters have never been fishing and may have never even been on a boat,” she said. “It is so rewarding to work with them and see the joy on their faces as they fish.”
 
The young anglers come from various organizations around Northeast Georgia, including Miracle League Baseball, Jacob’s Ladder and Extra Special People.
 
“Truly, you don’t need to be a fisherman and you can bring your pontoon or cruiser or any boat that can accommodate the kids, their guide, helper and parent,” Morgan said. “The most important thing is that we have our captains lined up and committed by the end of June or early July so that we know how many participants we can invite.”
 
Morgan asks that boat captains register at www.castforkids.org (search for Lanier event) or call her at 678 852-4957 or email her at lmorgan624@aol.com for more information by early July at the latest.
 
“The objective is to help kids with disabilities know that they can accomplish anything,” she said. “This is a wonderful way to become involved in a worthwhile community program and spend a day on the lake.”

Posted online 5/28/19
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