Saturday will mark the 27th Annual Hands Helping Anglers event. It’s a local program whose goal is to take people with disabilities out for a day of fishing.
It’s a partnership of the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, Rotary Clubs, many fishermen in the area, and volunteer boat captains. FDOA Executive Director Laurie LoRe-Gussak says the event—which gets bigger each year—is for people with all different disabilities who are at least 18-years-old.
“We have over 50 people going out fishing on numerous different boats, and people with disabilities are going to be able to either learn about fishing, and some of them have had an injury relearn about fishing and they might have to use some assistance technology-like an electronic fishing reel, but everyone’s going to be able to fish,” said LoRe-Gussak.
Most boat captains are leaving from Shields Marina in St. Marks. There are also boats leaving as far as Alligator Point in Franklin County. LoRe-Gussak says all are leaving in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
“Events like this, not only are a one-day program where somebody can go fishing for the day,” she added. “But, what it does is it helps open up their vision of what’s possible. Maybe somebody thought they couldn’t go fishing, and now they realize that they can and then they realize they can do other things as well. It could lead to jobs. It could lead to just being a full member of community.”
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