PARSONS, Kan.—Despite recent heavy rains and flooding, anglers with disabilities will again head to Big Hill Lake for a day of fishing, food and fun at a popular event that has become an annual tradition.
Hosted by SKIL Resource Center, the Southeast Kansas Fishing Without Boundaries event is slated for June 1 at the Cherryvale side of Big Hill Lake. Signs will be posted. The lake is located west of Parsons in Labette County. Long-time SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney will chair the event.
Each year, SKIL personnel transport anglers with disabilities and their assistive equipment to the lake and provide assistance throughout the day. The fishing event includes breakfast, lunch, a dinner cookout, catch-and-release fishing, prizes, boating on the lake with Coatney and SKIL staff and unsupervised overnight camping if desired.
“This wonderful event brings together disabled anglers and the community,” said Coatney. “Though fishing is an important part of many people’s lives, it can be difficult for anglers with disabilities to participate in the sport. SKIL’s employees and volunteers help facilitate anglers being able to enjoy a day at the lake.”
Pre-registration and volunteer applications for the event are available by contacting Donna Martin at Parsons SKIL. Participants can also register on June 1 at the lake starting at 8 a.m. Total cost for the day, including all meals and snacks, is $25.00. Full scholarships are available if this fee is unaffordable, Coatney said.
SKIL personnel weigh and measure the fish, serve the meals and snacks and otherwise assist anglers throughout the day. Boating and other volunteers are being sought to help with event activities.
“If people have a boat and are willing to donate their time, please contact Donna or Julie at the Parsons SKIL office,” said Coatney. “They will certainly have a wonderful, rewarding time helping the anglers. We strongly encourage and appreciate community involvement in this activity.”
Fishing baskets containing a variety of items have been made up by SKIL employees. Some are available for viewing in SKIL’s front window. Raffle tickets are available for public and participant purchase at SKIL’s front desk. Each participant will be given 10 tickets when they register for the fishing event.
Founded in 1992, SKIL serves over 4,500 customers with disability needs. More than 2,000 staff work through the agency, a major southeast Kansas employer.
Headquartered in Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan.
In addition to operating the independent living center, SKIL also operates an alternative lending program called K-LOAN that enables people with disabilities to purchase assistive equipment; and Assistive Technology for Kansans sites in Parsons and Wichita that provide assistive technology assessments and training, as well as other programs related to technology.
For more information, call Parsons SKIL at 1-800-688-5616 or contact any SKIL office. On the web at: www.skilonline.com