The Blue Mountain Fish and Game Association in Walnutport was once again the venue for the 14th annual Day at the Lake event. Organizations, such as Dream Come True, Special Olympics, and Center for Vision Loss are invited, along with their parents, siblings, caregivers and teachers to enjoy a day of fishing, activities, music, food and fun.
The lake is stocked with 400 trout that ensures each attendee receives their three-limit catch.
For 6 1/2-year-old twins Benjamin and Elija Imler (Elija was participating through Dream Come True) and their young brother Riley, that's a lot of trout. The entire family was kept busy through most of the afternoon reeling in the bounty. The Imler boys' grandmother promised to cook any fish that they caught for dinner.
Seven-year-old Sean Miller loves the outdoors and attends the Day at the Lake event every year. Sean is also a Dream Kid, who had his dream come true in 2009, when he and his family went to Disney World. Sean was thrilled with the opportunity to meet Minnie and Mickey Mouse, but the highlight of his trip was when he received a kiss from Princess Belle, from Beauty and the Beast.
Organizer Christina Tomsic has been carrying on the tradition of the Day at the Lake since her father, Michael Kiss, passed away in 2008. She wants to ensure that her father's good work and his memory live on.
Although it's a lot of work to pull an event like this together, Tomsic receives support from the members of the Blue Mountain Fish and Game Association. Dennis Kressley and Bruce Benntinger, for example have been cleaning the caught fish for as many years as the event has been held.
The association's president, Herb Santee, and vice president, Nelson Angstadt, are also on hand to ensure the day goes smoothly.
Doug Yingling, executive director for the Center for Vision Loss attended with six clients. They all caught their limit and they were happy with a day out. The center provides social services, transportation, support groups (for clients and families) and provides an activity schedule.
Although Day at the Lake is an annual event, they also hold a fishing day for Intermediate Unit 21 as part of its school field trip, and this year, in October, the Day at the Lake will be held for Angel 34.