A few years ago several area fishermen had an idea, "Let's take physically challenged kids fishing. It may be the only chance they get to take a boat ride and go fishing." David Mercer, who runs the Rough River State Marina, and others at the park got together with Fish and Wildlife and Corps of Engineers employees and Fishing for Smiles was born from their collective effort.
"So far this year there are 28 youngsters and their guardians signed up for the outing this Saturday," said Mercer. The participants will each be provided with bait and tackle for the day. They will also receive a fishing kit as a gift after the event, courtesy of the event sponsors. They also receive a Fishing for Smiles t-shirt.
The event has a new sponsor added to the list this year; The Twin Lakes Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation's Wheeling Sportsman Program donated and its help is greatly appreciated by the volunteers who travel the area in search of sponsors for the annual event.
The event begins with registration at Rough River State Marina around 8:30 a.m. and the fishing starts around 9:30 a.m.