Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports columns

August 5, 2012

Kids take grad tourney to the bank

Volunteers ensure another successful Kids Fishing Clinic

(Continued)

Kokomo —

In the 13-15 age bracket, C-Airah Worley claimed first place with a carp dropping the scales at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. She was led to success by guide Bing Taylor.

Without question, the secret to success of this long-tenured program lies with the army of volunteers and it takes every single one to make what the clinic has become today. Dozens of instructors did a magnificent job passing on a wealth of knowledge. Featured guest speakers traveled across the Midwest providing kids with captivating presentations. Special thanks go to the 70 guides who donated their time on graduation day.

But there are several who lie at the core. People like Craig Carter, Rick Kughen, Jeff Fager and Don Hinkle, along with Bart Alexander and his daughters, Kyla, Kelsey and Amanda.

Then there is one individual deserving of special mention. That man is Gary Hinkle. Always the first to arrive and the last to leave, he is a continual whirlwind of activity ensuring everything is as it should be. The man never stops!

“I wait all year for this,” he said, his eyes constantly surveying the surroundings making sure everything is in order.

For this special group, the Kids Clinic is much more than a two-week proposition; it is a yearlong event with their planning, preparing and organization.

I am sure some question why such a huge group of men and women would come together just to teach kids to fish. It is a fair question, but one not easily or quickly defined.

It’s been said the true essence of fishing is much more than casting, retrieving or playing your catch. It’s about the wind in your face, a beautiful sunrise over calm waters and the joy of passing it on to children. In every place that holds fish there is magic and mystery to be discovered. Just ask any of the 130 kids who took part in this year’s tourney.

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