On April 20, Lake Murray will be the site of the annual Catch A Special Trill, or C.A.S.T., for kids event for kids with special needs.
Registration director Jason Midkiff and event coordinator Steve Perkins used their love for fishing, as well as their love for helping children with special needs, to bring C.A.S.T. For Kids to the Southern Oklahoma area.
Midkiff, a former teacher in Marietta and Healdton, said it was a no-brainer when Perkins asked if he wanted to get involved with C.A.S.T. For Kids.
“We like to fish and we like to help kids,” Midkiff said. “It was kind of a shared passion.”
Midkiff has seen the effects on kids with special needs firsthand through family members and foster children.
“As an educator I have a passion for helping kids and helping them grow,” Midkiff said. “This particular event with kids with special needs, for them to come out and do a hands-on activity that they don’t get to do all the time, it is a really special day and it is a really special event.”
Perkins, a professional fisherman, was hesitant at first when he was approached by a friend to help bring the C.A.S.T. event to Lake Murray, but now after being involved, Perkins feels this is the best thing he does all year.
The kids’ enthusiasm towards the event is what keeps Perkins going.
“I have had kids who have come to the event for four years and they look forward to it every year,” Perkins said. “That is what makes the event special. It is just a day for the kids, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. its all about the kids.”
C.A.S.T. For Kids takes up to 40 kids and  provides breakfast, a t-shirt, a tackle box and a reel free of charge. With the help of volunteers, like the Lake Murray Yacht Club, kids can fish on a boat with a captain or fish off the lake shores.
When the kids are finished fishing, they are provided lunch, followed by an Easter egg hunt.
After all of the day’s activities are finished, the kids receive a plaque for for their fishing efforts and a photo with the boat captain.
“It means the world to me,” Perkins said. “We couldn’t do it without all the volunteers. Everyone has a place at C.A.S.T.”