Buzzing reels and splashes from floppy catfish brought laughter and smiles to children at Calaveras Lake Park. Last Saturday, about 100 CPS Energy volunteers lined the shores of the cove on Kids Fish Day to serve as fishing buddies and helpers of the young anglers.
Some kids, like 5-year-old Dante, experienced the thrill of fishing for the first time. Dante’s parents, Juan Pablo and Lizzeth, took turns holding him, as he curiously watched his fishing buddy, Blaize Skocny, reel in a slimy catfish. Due to developmental differences, Dante couldn’t reel or hold the pole. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying a prized catch. Blaize, an Incident Response & Business Continuity Program Manager at CPS Energy, happily kneeled on the grassy shoreline next to him to give him a close look.
“Some activities are very difficult for him, but events like this give him the opportunity to be part of the community and participate in different activities,” said Lizzeth.
Later, Blaize and several other volunteers took the family on a boat ride across the lake. Dante’s dad, closed his eyes and enjoyed the cool breeze for a few moments. With Father’s Day taking place the following day, he said it was a special moment he’ll never forget.
Caring for our customers has been at the heart of Kids Fish Day since it started more than 20 years ago. This year, we hosted 40 local youth from Peace Pals neighborhood after-school program and DisABILITYsa, a nonprofit that connects families to local resources and opportunities to promote independence and inclusion.
Now in its 23rd year, Kids Fish Day has become a favorite among the many volunteer events that CPS Energy takes part in year-round. The event has been on hiatus the last three years due to rain in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of years. Click here to see more photos of the event.
Benny Ethridge, Executive Vice President of Energy Supply, shared how impressive it is to see our volunteers dedicate their time and energy to make dreams come true for kids.
“Our employees are committed to serving our community and when you think about what we do every day, it’s more than just a job, it’s a commitment,” said Benny. “That comes through loud and clear when we get responses to our calls for volunteers.”
With our Calaveras Power Station in view, Benny pointed out that Kids Fish Day gives CPS Energy an opportunity to use the cooling lake to serve our customers with a memorable event as we continue to produce reliable power for our community this summer.
“We’re a company dedicated to our community. This is a way we can use a resource we need (every day) to produce power for our community, and let these kids have a good time and experience something they’ve never done before.”
Along with a dedicated group of volunteers, the event would not be possible without great support from event partners. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department stocks the lake with hundreds of catfish before Kids Fish to ensure a guaranteed catch. C.A.S.T. (Catch a Special Thrill) for Kids supplies buckets of bait and tackle plus rods and reels, which the young anglers get to take home. We send a special thank you to them for their dedicated support. Together, since we started Kids Fish Day in 2002, we’ve helped more than 600 kids cast a line and catch a dream.