August 17th was the kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula turn to go fishing with professional guides on the Kenai River. The event dubbed “Take Our Kids Fishing,” brought 80 some boys and girls club kids from six different Peninsula Clubs from as far away as Seward and Homer together under sunny skies to fish the mighty Kenai River for the illusive silver salmon. “Through a generous offer by the Kenai River Professional Guide Association, Boys and Girls Club kids were treated to a free day of habitat and water safety instruction, snacks, and fishing on the Kenai River. They also enjoyed a BBQ with their families and guides once the boats had arrived from fishing,” reported Boys & Girls Club president Mayor Peter Micciche.
“It was exciting for the kids, an adventure they’ll remember the rest of their lives. I am grateful for the generosity of the guides and event sponsors,” added Micciche. “This community never ceases to amaze me as folks consistently step forward to help others that may not always have the resources to enjoy all the Kenai has to offer. The kids of the Boys and Girls Club are grateful for the generosity of the Guide Association. Instead of booking paying clients, guides donated the afternoon to take our kids fishing. This was an outstanding effort by many including organizer Tami Murray, Dan Pascucci and the Kenai Watershed Forum as they entertained as well as brought a message of environmental stewardship. The City of Soldotna contributed the use of Centennial Park and Safe Kids guaranteed the water safety of our kids. There were many sponsors for this event, yet it simply could not have happened without the generosity of the guides,” said Micciche.
Kenai River Professional Guide Association (KRPGA) President Dave Goggia said, “These kids just come to fish and they have a blast and the KRPGA was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute. The Kenai River is a great venue for this event and the day was just awesome. We teach them proper etiquette, appreciation for the river and in the meantime they catch fish, something many of them have never had the opportunity to do. This event is simply about taking these kids fishing.” As the boats arrived from the fishing grounds they could be heard excitedly relaying stories to their friends and families about the fish they caught, or simply about the fun of being on the river. Family members shared dinner with their kids, Boys and Girls Club board members and Kenai River guides as more stories could be overheard about their river adventure.
“There were many hands involved in the success of placing a huge smile on 80 faces by taking our kids fishing. A heartfelt thanks goes out to the Guide Association, the City of Soldotna, Kenai Watershed Forum, Safe Kids, Soldotna Chamber, Boys and Girls Club staff and board and King Salmon Sponsors: Conoco Phillips, Arby’s, Central Peninsula Hospital, Peak Oilfield Services, Mike Navarre and Margeret Anderson. Thanks also to GCI, Alaska Gear, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sav-U-Mor and Coca Cola of the Kenai Peninsula and Odem Corporation for their generosity in supplying drinks, gift bags, t-Shirts and drawing items for the kids. You’ve helped make it a very special day for our kids and for that you deserve a big Boys and Girls Club pat on the back. We’ve helped teach our kids the value of the gift of the Kenai River; a gift none of us should ever take for granted,” concluded Micciche.