More than 700 handicapped youngsters and adults will be treated to boat rides and fishing on Lake St. Clair, Aug 8 as they try to catch the big fish.
The colorful event is the 34th annual Handicapped Fishing Derby which begins at 9 a.m. at Island Harbor Marina in St. Clair Shores. Participants will board boats, put on life jackets and have a fishing pole in hand as boat captains take them on a wonderful summer excursion.
The disabled participants are both physically and mentally challenged and will come from the four county areas of Macomb, Wayne, Oakland and Monroe. More than 200 volunteers will be on hand to help. The Macomb County Sheriff's Department and other volunteers will help lower the wheelchairs into the boats.
When the boats return to the dock a free lunch and entertainment will be provided for the participants. Starting with 12 charter boats, the event now draws more than 50 boats.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the disabled and handicapped people to get out on the water and have a fun day. They look forward to this day all year long," said Ed Deeb, president of the Michigan Business and Professional Association, a major co-sponsor of the event. "It's a great opportunity for spreading joy and happiness in our area."
"On this special day, the marina is a noisy, colorful site with clowns, balloons, music and excited fishermen," according to Kelvin Salis of Island Harbor. "The kids really enjoy themselves, and we are pleased to participate."
Boat owners are encouraged to show up at the Island Harbor Marina early Wednesday morning with their boats and join in on the fun. The marina is located at 24102 Jefferson, St. Clair Shores.
For more information contact Michigan Business and Professional Association at 586-393-8800.
The major sponsors are Island Harbor Marina, Michigan Business and Professional Association, Michigan Food and Beverage Association, Karl and Annabelle Nothdurft, Macomb County Sheriff Department, St. Clair Shores Fire Department, Turri's Italian Foods, Travis Restaurant, 9 Mile & Mack. Donations are from Lakeside Fishing, Shriner Clowns, Vendy's Canopies, Amvets #108, Tubby's, Shriner's Lancer Unit, Northwoods Sportsman's Association, U.A.W. Local #155 retirees, Michigan Tooling Association, Andiamo's Rojo Restaurant, Randazzo's Produce, Unity Credit Union, Battery Giant of Ferndale, and local merchants.