Cast a Special Thrill for kids held its fourth annual event Saturday morning on the clear, blue waters of Lake Murray.
C.A.S.T for kids is a nonprofit organization that takes kids with special needs on a fishing trip, for most, their first time.
The event first came to Lake Murray four years ago when friends Steve Perkins and Jason Midkiff teamed up to help bring C.A.S.T. for kids to southern Oklahoma.
Lake Murray Yacht Club members and other volunteers take the kids fishing, followed by lunch and, for the first time this year, an Easter egg hunt.
“We partnered up last year with the Lake Murray Yacht Club, and a lot of volunteers with boats. It has been a great event this year,” Midkiff said. “Every year we learn a bit more and add a few things, like this year we have an Easter Bunny. We are just getting smoother in the process and the way we do things.”
This year around 30 kids signed up for the event, and with the help of the Lake Murray Yacht Club there were 20 boats available to take the kids fishing.
Lake Murray State Park Manager Richard Keithley knew it was a no-brainer when Perkins and Midkiff approached him for the event. With the continued growth of the event, Keithley believes this will be a partnership for years to come.
 “It is a special group and it is wonderful to give them the opportunity to do something at the state park,” Keithley said. “It is an opportunity these people put on to give these kids an opportunity to go outside and do something different than their day-to-day. Anyone who helps them organize or helps them put on these events, the boat operators who bring their boats out and make them available, is just a tremendous effort on everyone’s part.”
Caleb Wren, of Ardmore, and his wife heard of C.A.S.T. for Kids through a family friend. After hearing about the event, Wren signed up their son Roland Wren, who has autism, right away.
“It is awesome to get out and be a part of the community and have this event for kids,” Wren said. “It is fun. Food, fishing outside, nice weather, nice environment and to see everyone in the community.”
Ted Enos is one of the many members of the Lake Murray Yacht Club to help out with the event. After being approached by the State Park Department and Lake Murray, Enos was happy to volunteer his time for the kids.
“What more can you do on a beautiful day than take some kids out on the lake to fish and have a good time,” Enos said. “To put smiles on their faces is a good use of my day.”
With the fourth annual event coming to a close, Perkins and Midkiff  will soon begin preparations for next year. Always in need of volunteers and donations, the process to put on the event is always worth the outcome for the two.
As the event continues to grow, one thing always makes it worth while for Perkins.
“It is getting bigger and better, we’re getting more volunteers and kids,” Perkins said. “Just the kids coming out and seeing them get their trophy presentation and the fish is what makes today special.”