Every year after the Kingman Elk’s annual Fishing for Smiles free kids fishing day, our committee writes a thank you letter to the editor to recognize our supporters and sponsors. This year is no different.
However, this year’s event was more special than previous years and we owe that success to our many volunteers, sponsors and supporters. Fishing for Smiles 2017 was held June 3 and June 6 at Dunton Fort Rock Ranch, just east of Kingman. We were blessed with fantastic weather, no wind and a whole lot of hungry catfish. The Dunton family has our deepest appreciation for offering their ranch and preparing the fishing pond for another hugely successful kid’s free fishing day.
Not to be confused or associated with any other local fishing event, Fishing for Smiles is completely free to all participants ages 5-15 and their families. Sponsored and funded entirely by the Kingman Elks Lodge through grants from the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (thanks to Ron Hooper and the Mohave Sportsmen’s Club) and Kingman Regional Medical Center, FFS asks for nothing from the families who participate, only that they come out and enjoy a fun day of fishing.
Arizona Game & Fish Department also plays a key role is our success as they provide the needed expertise and guidance when it comes to stocking the lake and providing fishing poles, bait and volunteers during the two days of fishing. The AZGFD staff and volunteers are irreplaceable and we treasure their participation.
The Elks Lodge and Mohave Sportsman Club wants to sincerely thank these generous contributors who make FFS so successful:
This year, the Kiwanis’s BBQ crew served up a fantastic lunch and saved the day when the Elks cook crew had a previous commitment. The scores of local volunteers who work hard planning this event, gathering equipment, materials and supplies, delivering it all to the lake then setting up and preparing for the kids to arrive, you all are invaluable to our success. We also appreciate KRMC for hosting their annual Kids Day where we sign up and register our event participants. We had nearly 200 kids again this year. KRMC also graciously provided free kids fishing hats.
We also appreciate Rebecca Peck and the Kingman office of the Bureau of Land Management for bringing and displaying its collection of reptiles. The kids loved it. We hear that Ms. Peck may be retiring and while we congratulate her and wish her well, she’ll be missed tremendously. We hope her program continues.
These businesses who support us, thank you; McKee foods, Lee’s Uniforms, Sysco foods, Kingman Portable Toilets, Mather Brothers Ice, Eastside Shell and Bob Kay State Farm.