The Fort Bragg/Pope Armed Services YMCA held its annual Family Fishing Derby, Saturday, at Lake Rim Park.
The derby illustrates an effort by the ASYMCA to provide Family recreation for servicemembers, civilians and their Family members.
“It’s quality Family time. It’s fun for them to get out and sit and for the little ones to learn to fish,” said Lynn Grates, executive director of the installation’s ASYMCA.
The event, in its second year, was conceived by Grates and by Deborah Hall, program director.
“It was so popular last year that we decided to bring it back this year,” Grates said.
Nearly 100 Families signed up for this year’s derby.
Spc. Justin Gramelspacher took his 5-year old godson, Jaxon Popp to the derby. Gramelspacher is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division and a native of Indiana. He said it is important to spend time with his godson.
“We fish all the time,” said Popp, who sported a mohawk and readily baited his own worm on the hook.
“We do derbys a lot, wherever the military sends us,” said Carmen Blackmore, an Army spouse who is married to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Clifford Blackmore of the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters.
Blackmore took their son, Bryson to the derby.
The registration fee was $10 and included a rod, bait and T-shirt. Trophies were also awarded for the biggest fish and for the most fish caught.
Jalen Richmond, 11, won for catching the biggest fish with a size of 3.11 pounds.
Alexiis Hilton, 4, won for the catching the most fish, 22, Grates said.
According to the Fort Bragg/Pope ASYMCA website, other special events held by the organization include the Mother/Daughter Tea and Fashion Show and the Healthy Kids Day.
Ongoing programs include Operation Hero, a mentoring program begun in 2000 that improves self-esteem and grades, while allowing children to find their inner hero; Baby Bundles, which provides a layette for new mothers who are active duty, and in the ranks of specialist and below. Another program is Operation Kid Comfort, entitling children of active-duty deployed Soldiers who are ages 0 to 5 years to receive a free, photo-transfer quilt bearing photos of his/her Family.
Fort Bragg is committed to upholding the Army Family Covenant and continuously provides activities aimed at ensuring Soldier, Family and civilian well-being.
For more information about the Fort Bragg/Pope ASYMCA organization, events or programs, visit its website at www.braggasymca.org/index.htm , stop by Building 2-2411 Rodney Trail or call 436-0500.