Kids benefit from free fishing tackle giveaway
By Robert Williams
Getting GROW Frazee-Vergas off the ground has been nearly a year-long task for its steering committee and the coalition got to put its planning into gear holding its first public event Saturday, June 11, at CornerStone.
The Got Tackle? event was a free fishing gear giveaway for kids created in a partnership with GROW Frazee-Vergas, CornerStone, Steve Wolff and volunteers from Harvest Fellowship Church.
Wolff and a group of his friends donated over 100 rod-and-reel combinations with brand new fishing line that were given away to area youth along with tackle box sets for each family. The event coincided with the Minnesota Take a Kid Fishing weekend, where any adult could take a child 12 or under fishing for free.
Wolff had 45 tackle boxes to give away to each family and five larger tackle boxes that were given away in a drawing.
“We had an awesome fishing event on Saturday,” Positive Community Norms Grant Coordinator LeeAnn Felix said. “There were so many people that attended.”
GROW Frazee-Vergas is a coalition utilizing a five-year grant, fiscally hosted by the school district, that is focused on preventing substance use in seventh through 12th grade students.
The coalition also addresses physical and mental health issues with an emphasis on providing opportunities and activities for area kids.
The event had an excellent turnout with over 86 rod-and-reel giveaways to kids who were lined up prior to the start of the event.
According to Felix, Wolff started collecting gear on his own but word spread amongst people he knew who joined the cause and added to the collection with donations of their own. Plans are in the works to start a new collection and continue the event next year.
Having a positive experience for kids and the coalition was an important first public step for GROW Frazee-Vergas.
The acronym stands for Generating Resilience, Opportunity and Wellbeing for Frazee-Vergas youth. Funding to support efforts such as these is provided by The Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Division.
“We are looking for input and participation from our communities to continue to GROW Frazee-Vergas into a positive community for our youth,” said Felix.
GROW Frazee-Vergas meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 4:30-6 p.m. The July and August meetings will be in the White Pine Room of the Frazee Event Center.
The meetings consist of members from both communities and the region focusing on strategic planning to enact change and make the Frazee-Vergas area a support system for kids and adults.
Upcoming events include the Turkey Days Color Trot on Saturday, July 30, and the CornerStone Open House, also during Turkey Days.