If you haven’t heard of this organization and the amazing charity work they provide to communities in the Puget Sound region and around the country, we’re glad you are here learning about them now.
C.A.S.T. stands for “Catch A Special Thrill” and the volunteers at this foundation and their numerous sponsors selflessly created a program where they donate an amazing amount of time and money to create unique events for special needs children.
Their mission started with a simple goal: provide both the children and their care givers opportunities to have a day of fun activities, positive experiences, and memories that last while educating them about natural resources. Their events and efforts would also help to increase awareness of disabled children in the communities where they are hosted.
The Foundation’s incredible Board of Directors and their staff include the President of the Washington State BASS Federation, an ESPN ESPY award winner, and several volunteers who have a long history of working with prominent charities.
Nearly 25 Years of Service
Founded in 1991 in Washington and headquartered in Renton, their events quickly attracted praise and interest nationally and spread to over 18 states within the first ten years. Now in their 24th year, their events span over 25 states, and the Foundation partners with the University of Washington Sociology Department for program evaluation and recommendations.
More Programs Added, and Still Growing
The early events hosted by C.A.S.T. were so successful that the Foundation began expanding their offerings in 1996 with the addition of the Fishing Kids Program. Fishing Kids helps encourage urban kids to get out of the house and off the streets to enjoy a different kind of leisure activity than they may be used to. For some, this may lead to becoming a lifelong hobby.
At the events sponsored by this program, kids receive 60 minutes of instruction by experienced anglers regarding ethics, fish ID, and safety. Parents are encouraged to participate, and the kids receive t-shirts, rods, and reels to keep.
Expansion continued in 2011 when the Foundation established the Take a Warrior Fishing program. Designed for military personnel assigned to Warrior Transition Commands and their families, the program provides support for those who make it possible for events like this to occur on U.S. soil (and waters).
The program hosts events that accommodate up to 150 families and aim to link them to local communities while providing outdoor recreation. Making both social interaction with civilians and family possible in this setting is often seen as therapeutic by the participants and the sponsors and facilitators alike.
Learn More, Get Involved, and Participate in Upcoming Events
To learn more about C.A.S.T., their many upcoming events, and how you can get involved, we encourage you to visit them at http://www.castforkids.org. They have a lot of exciting events planned, a great newsletter, and could always use additional donors and volunteers. If you love fishing, love kids, and love supporting our veterans, there are many ways that you can make a difference by contributing to C.A.S.T.
We first learned about them from our friends at Tacoma Limousine Services in a really round about way, but that’s a long story that we’ll save for another day… Thanks for reading. You can expect to see more news about C.A.S.T. and their events here soon, so check back often!