SIDNEY — Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters and their “Littles” recently enjoyed a Youth Day Fishing Derby at the home of Mike Meyer in Fort Loramie. The Fishing Derby was co-sponsored by the Shelby County BassMasters and Sidney Kiwanis. Over 30 volunteers and Littles attended the annual event, which was held on Saturday, Sept. 16. The outing included a cookout for all BassMaster members, their children, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers and Littles. The fishing event concluded with an award ceremony for the top fisherman in several age categories.
Shelby County BassMasters were able to put on this event as a result of local fisherman participating in bass tournaments throughout the year with a modest portion of the entry fee going toward the purchase of individual poles for each child. Other donations were received by Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Buckeye Ford, Minster Machine, Jayne Watkins and Carol Freisthler with Wagner Realty, Patrick’s Pub & Grill, Meyer’s Garage & Drive Thru, Mully’s Drive Thru, Spillway Bait & Tackle, Al’s Place Pizza, Russ Michael, Playtex, Wagner’s IGA, Greenthumb Nursery, and Dan Eilerman Construction.
“The Shelby County BassMasters do an outstanding job every year with this activity. The children who participate in this outing truly look forward to it each year, and it exposes them to a new hobby that they might not otherwise get the opportunity to do,” said Jennifer Bruns, executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County.
“I have kids ask me all year round when the fishing derby is going to be held. They love this event.” Bruns said, “Being outdoors, getting fresh air, and learning about fishing is a neat experience for the children in the program; and for some of them the first time they have been exposed to the sport.”
Group activities are part of the mentoring program for children from at-risk homes. Presently, the Shelby & Darke County agency has 62 matches with a list of over 14 children yet in need of an adult volunteer. Volunteers are required to see the children two times per month, offering support, fun, and educational activities. It should be noted that match activities can be scheduled around a volunteer’s calendar, and offer a way to have a positive impact on youth in the community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit United Way member agency. Contact the local agency at 937-492-7611 or go to www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org for more information about volunteering.