Special needs children fish with joy at this year’s Fishing with Angels

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HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Fishing with Angels held their 23rd annual special needs fishing event Friday, and the children were eager and excited to catch a bunch of fish.

“Maybe if I can catch the biggest fish in the ocean, I’d be able to catch the biggest fish I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” Rehobeth student Joey Cook said.

Organizer Joe Phillips got inspiration for the event from his mentally disabled granddaughter, who passed away in 2002.

City and county schools participate in the event along with volunteers to help the children fish.

“I love to be out here, it gives me joy to see them have a good time and get to do something fun for a change, and give them love and attention through this event,” volunteer Kennedy Thorpe said.

The children said they had a blast and enjoyed their time outdoors.

“I’m only having a great time outdoors because I’d like to be outside for the rest of my life,” Joey said.

The fish caught at the event are cleaned and sold to restock the pond for the next year. The children are fed for their hard work, and Phillips said they make everyone at the event feel loved.

“These children here, when they get out of the bus, they got open arms,” Phillips said. “They show you genuine love. It’s not put on; it is genuine, heartfelt love.”

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