The Ford Plantation will host the fifth annual Fish With Friends event on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Tom Sawyer Pond.
The brainchild of The Ford Plantation’s outdoor pursuits director Fuzzy Davis, Fish With Friends offers the opportunity for area children with special needs to enjoy a fun day of fishing.
“Fish With Friends is an important way for The Ford Plantation to give back to the community,” said Davis, who originally launched the event on Hilton Head Island 14 years ago and expanded the event to Richmond Hill in 2005. “It’s a fun way to spend the day with special needs children who normally don’t get to get out and fish. Having access to such a great pond really allows for team spirit, because the kids get to see what everyone else is catching, making this such a great experience for them.”
Participating children will be paired with a volunteer to spend the day catching bluegill, catfish and other freshwater fish. Davis, an accomplished charter fisherman, and members of The Ford Plantation staff will be on hand to help bait hooks, repair lines and lend their expertise.
After a morning of catch and release, the children and volunteers will retreat to Ogeechee Outfitters, The Ford Plantation’s marina, for a picnic lunch, live entertainment and a trophy presentation. The cookout and awards ceremony runs from noon-1:30 p.m. Participating children will also receive a hat, T-shirt and the surprise gift of keeping the fishing rod they used for the day.
Inspired by the challenges his cousin, Gwynne Allison, faced when she suffered multiple sclerosis as a child, Davis decided to organize a network of charter boat captains on Hilton Head Island, S.C., to take special needs kids out for an unforgettable day of fishing. Fish With Friends has expanded to Richmond Hill and Jackson Hole, Wy.
“The kids don’t even have to catch anything,” said Jeff Scott, a Ford Plantation resident who helps organize Fish With Friends each year. “It’s more than a fishing event. It’s all about being out in the fresh air and taking part in a fun activity.”
For more information about Fish With Friends, please contact Davis at (912) 756-5886, Jeff and Lila Scott at (912) 727-3474, or Ben and Susie MacMillan at (912) 756-6677.