MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A Junior Bassmaster club and a member of the University of Alabama Bass Fishing Team helped children with diabetes have a fun time during the 3rd Annual Diabetes Youth River Region Bassmaster Kids Fishing Event, April 18, at Gateway Park.
The 26 children participated in two age groups (5-10 and 11-16) during the fishing program hosted by Southeastern Diabetes Education Services. "We are excited to have the opportunity to bring together children and families who live with this health challenge for an afternoon of fun, fishing and to create friendships," said Terry Ackley, Southeastern Diabetes Education Services president.
Central Alabama Junior Bassmasters club members taught the kids about fishing and assisted them during the event. "Karen Stewart [Central Alabama Junior Bassmasters adult advisor] brings her team of kids, who are always enthusiastic and helpful in assisting with this yearly event," said Wendy Dixon-Flamand, a public information specialist for Alabama's Office of Minority Health and a former BASS employee.
Helping officiate at the weigh-in this year was Ben Weldon, a junior at the University of Alabama and a member of the school's bass fishing team, who is also a Type 1 diabetic. "Ben also demonstrated to both parents and these kids that fishing and fun can work," said Dixon-Flamand. "He has learned to manage his diabetes quite well and became a mentor to the children who attended."
Jamie Ball of Deatsville won the event with a weight of 5 ounces. Jacob Olson of Wetumpka took second with 4 ounces, and Kiara Claire of Montgomery finished third with 3 ounces.