Lakecaster Online

Great Lengths...Great Depths at 'Get Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs'
By Patty Schaefer

The 16th annual "Get Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs" tournament kicked off at Shirley Creek Marina on Lake Sam Rayburn May 4, 2002. Over 200 kids from pre-kindergarten thru 12th grade participated from schools scattered all over the East Texas area. Game Wardens came to give the kids a ride on their boats and teach them boating safety. Forestry Service personnel came with Smokey the Bear and helped teach the kids how to cast. Biologists came to hold seminars to teach the kids about the different species and fishing ethics. Scads of volunteers came to help the kids fish. Everyone had a great time at this fun family day with a lot of great BBQ to eat while listening to Country Western / Gospel music singer Kevin Blake Weldon who flew in all the way from Nashville to participate. Fishing pro's came to take some of the kids fishing in their boats.

The primary goals for the "East Texas Get Hooked on Fishing" program is to help kids to be aware and have other and better alternatives to drugs and alcohol. The program also provides clean role models from different walks of life to speak in schools and at the Crusade to stimulate youth and incorporates the program into schools to encourage active youth involvement by writing essays and drawing posters on the theme "Get Hooked on Fishing - Not Drugs". Through the many sponsors that support this program who go to great lengths to not only donate their time and money but also products that supply the youngsters with their own fishing related products to use fishing as an alternative to drugs, alcohol and gangs. It takes time and dedication not only from the sponsors, organizers, volunteers but also the kids who participate in this program that makes it a successful positive turnstyle event that makes such an important positive difference in the lives of these youth.

"As Director of iEast Texas Get Hooked on Fishing, let me express my sincere appreciation to all of our celebrities and VIP's that give of their time to participate in our renowned youth anti-drug crusade that is devoted to trying to help youth in our East Texas Area. Thank you to our participating schools and staff, all sponsors, pageant directors, pageant winners, the several hundred volunteer workers, other participants, and also to Governor Rick Perry and State Representative Wayne Christian for their letters of encouragement." - Paul Hinton, Director

"As Governor of Texas, it is my pleasure to welcome all in attendance at the 16th annual Get Hooked on Fishing - Not Drugs celebration. As you enjoy the outdoors and learn about fishing, you are proclaiming to all your commitment to a healthy lifestyle - one free of drugs and alcohol. To the young people here today, I encourage you to recognize your responsibility as the future of Texas. By striving for excellence both inside and outside of the classroom and by avoiding drugs and violence, you will be well prepared to assume the reins of leadership of this great state. I am very proud of your commitment, and I salute your parents, teachers and all others who have encouraged your progress. I would also like to recognize with appreciation the dedication and diligence of those who work tirelessly to make this annual event a reality. I wish you future success as you continue to focus on the well-being of young Texans. Mrs. Perry joins me in sending best wishes for an exciting event. Happy Fishing ! - Sincerely, Rick Perry, Governor"

Former President George Bush has sent East Texas Get Hooked on Fishing four letters commending the efforts of the program and has sent ten messages to the program to be read at all events. Some of the others who have commended the program include: Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy William Bennett, Governor Ann Richards, Former Governor George W. Bush, State Representative Wayne Christian, and Governor Rick Perry.

National Sponsors for 2002 include: Berkley & Company, Hildebrandt Corporation, Zebco/Quantum, Daiwa Corporation, Gator Grip, Tru Turn, Inc., Plano Molding Co., Ranger Boats, Stanley Jigs Inc., George W. King III (Pacific Coast Baseball League), Vados Bait Express, Yamaha Motors.

East Texas Sponsors for 2002 include: A-1 Party Rentals of Lufkin, Al's Party Rentals, Barnhill's Grill & Country Buffet (Lufkin), Boots Furniture, Brookshire Brothers (Regional office & Hemphill), Bryan's Smokehouse, Burgess Feed Store, Burgess Plant Farm, Janice Cheek, Chireno ISD, Dr. Donald Cagle, Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgical Assoc of E. Tx, Christian Words and Works, Casa Ole', Crazy Jose's, Cingular Wireless Service, Clear Channel Communications, Cox Concete, Diamond Trophy Shop, Dr. Jack Erwin, Fleetwood Transportation, Foretravel Inc., Fredonia Graphics, Frito Lay, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Thomas and Lucy Giltner, Gulf Coast Electric, Gulf Star Communication (KYKS-KAFX-KTBQ-KSFA),Gulf States Toyota of Houston, Lorraine Hahne, Hale's Tackle Shop, Hillside Inn &RV Park, Holly Park Marina, Mr. Ken Houston, Innovative Office Systems, Dr. William Jones, KENCO, KPBL AM Radio, KTHP FM Radio, L & L Home Schools Studio, Luby's Cafeteria, Lufkin BBQ, Mid Lake Septic, Milam Settlers Day, Tim Mitchell, Red Murff, Nacogdoches Breakfast Lion's Club, Nacogdoches Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Nacogdoches County Hospital Dist. EMS, Gene Nethery, John Oglesbee MD, Pate Engineers, Pilgrim's Pride, Randall's Grocery (Lufkin), Sam's Club, Sealy Outdoors, Shirley Creek Marina, Sound Tech, State Representative Wayne Christian, Story-Wright Office Supply, Starr Funeral Home, Temple-Inland Forest Products, Inc., Texas Foundries, Texas Signature Company, Dr. Larry Walker, Wal-Mart Fouondation, Wal-Mart Store #140 (Lufkin), Wal-Mart Super Store (Nacogdoches), Wal-Mart Super Store (Jasper), Faye White, Woodland Heights Medical Center, Yates Broadcasting Center, Foremost Dairy, Dixie Papaer Company, Little Debbies, Sysco, Pace Creek Enterprises

To show your appreciation of their support of this exciting youth program, please shop with these great sponsors whenever possible. If you would like more information on East Texas Get Hooked on Fishing, please contact Paul Hinton, Director - Route 5, Box 1470 - Hemphill, TX 75948 - 409/787-3110.

580-3rd grader Colby Leone of Pineland, with volunteer Patricia

568-World Pro Janice Cheek with Amanda Butts of Martinsville
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

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