LA CROSSE, WI (March 9, 2016) – The Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO is pleased to announce that the council will be awarded the “Wisconsin AFL-CIO Community Service Event Award” on March 11 for its annual “Take Kids Fishing Day” events.[singlepic id=22347 w=320 h=240 float=right]Bill Brockmiller, president of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO, will accept the award on behalf of the council at 8:45 a.m. during the annual Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Community Services Conference. This year, the conference will be at the Radisson Hotel on Second Street in La Crosse.
Back in 2012, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) Work Boots on the Ground (WBG) conservation program teamed up with the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO to host a Take Kids Fishing Day at Pettibone Lagoon in La Crosse. The West Central AFL-CIO started a similar event in Eau Claire in 2013, and the South Central Building & Trades Council added its own event last year in Madison. The fifth annual Take Kids Fishing Day in La Crosse is scheduled for June 4.
“Take Kids Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity to educate our youth on the benefits of fishing and spark a lifelong interest in the sport,” said USA Conservation Manager Ty Brown. “It’s also a great way to show families the abundance of public access opportunities available in their communities.”
This unique event is free and open to the public – especially under-privileged kids and handicapped adults who might not otherwise have a chance to learn about fishing.
Fishing poles, bait, lunch and a picnic style lunch are provided free of charge to all attendees. To ensure that no child leaves empty-handed, all kids participating in the La Crosse event get a door prize such as fishing rods and reels, lures or tackle items.
“Those who won fishing poles, of course, wanted to use them, so we had volunteers busy rigging them up,” said Terry Hayden, president of the Western Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council and business manager of UA Local 434. “Being connected with nature as a youth helps build a healthy respect for the world we live in.”
For children less inclined to fish, face painting and temporary tattoos are provided free of charge by members of OPEIU Local 277.
Since the first La Crosse event in 2012, union volunteers have mentored more than 420 kids, more than 100 attendees are expected this year.
In La Crosse, members of the following locals have been seen pitching in and helping make the event a success; OPEIU Local 277, LIUNA Local 268, IAMAW Locals 21 & 1115, IAMAW District Lodge 66, AFTW Local 3605, UA Local 434, AFSCME Locals 1449, 1914, 1449, 2484 and 2748, ATU Local 519, AFSCME Retirees Chapter 7-Subchapter 101, BLET Local 13, IBEW Local 14, IAFF Local 127, BMWE Local 1965, OPCMIA Local 599 BCT&GM Local 22.
“Not only do kids love to fish, but it’s satisfying for grown-ups to watch a kid who’s all smiles while catching a fish,” said Brockmiller. “There’s no better time than now to get a kid hooked on fishing.”
Dave Branson, executive director, Building & Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin agreed: “For me, the best part of the event was seeing the smiles on all the kids’ faces. I loved being able to interact with everyone there. Not only was it successful, it was fun. Everybody had a great time.”