Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin'
By: Arnold Wyrick
(Carbondale, IL)--Thousands of Heartland students are looking forward to getting out of school in the next couple of weeks. But a few hundred special kids took the day off from school and went fishing. They all meet up at Bleyer's Lake in Carbondale with one mission on their minds, to catch the most and the biggest fish.
More then 700 hundred kids drew back and flung their worm laden hooks into the murky deep water. It didn't take long before the fish started biting. "I wouldn't miss if for the world, "says Norman Wayman a volunteer. "I've worked with special kids in Chester for years. And now that I'm no longer working, I'm still going to be coming here. You can just see the enjoyment on the kids faces. For some this is the biggest time of their lives," Wayman said as he cast out DeAndre's hook and bobber.
"I've been fishing before with my grandmother," says DeAndre. " But this is different because there's a lot of kids around." After nearly 3 hours of reeling them in and re baiting their hooks everyone sat down to a picnic lunch and some refreshments. Then it was right back at the task at hand, catching fish.
"I've caught 7 so far, I spit on my bait and it seems to work," says Elizabeth. But this is as much fun for the kids as it is for the volunteers. " I really like working with kids. And I haven't been fishing in a long time, so I thought this would be fun. Because fishing is such a fun experience," says Britni Townsend of Carbondale.
This is the 16th year that the Frank Bleyer family and The Bank of Carbondale have sponsored the fishing expedition for special population kids.