Second Fishing Fest Could Net Youth Some Great Gifts

Annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival is Saturday at Green Valley Park

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A beautiful spring day in Green Valley Park was celebrated with fishing and fun at the first Optimist Kids Fishing Festival last April. The event returns this weekend and the forecast is for just as much fun this year. The festival will be held from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 12.

You don't even have to fish to come away with a great catch at the second annual Optimist Kids Fishing Festival this weekend. The community has been especially generous in donating prizes for the many raffles planned during the day, plus some exceptional contributions are up for bid in a silent auction.

This year, the festival is from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 12 at Green Valley Park.

The festival is a cooperative effort of the Optimist Club, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, Arizona Game and Fish, KRIM-FM, Payson Community Christian School, Printing by George and John Wisner.

There will be free fishing in the lakes at the park, with no license required for those who register at the registration booth. There will also be classes, food and festivities. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories. There are also raffles for both adults and children.

People can receive raffle tickets by bringing new books to the festival. The books will benefit Child Protective Services, the Rim Country Literacy Program, Payson Community Kids and the Optimists' Christmas Food Drive. For one new book donors will receive a free children's raffle ticket and for three books they will have a choice of three children's or one adult raffle ticket. The books may be brought to the prize booth on April 12, where raffle tickets will be presented.

Raffle tickets will be drawn throughout the day for a variety of gifts, services and more. The raffle tickets for the major prizes will be drawn between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Raffle tickets can also be purchased from all Optimist members and volunteers who are helping with this event and at the parks office. KRIM radio staff also will sell tickets all day at Green Valley Park.

The festival is open to all ages.

Registration and classes may run through the day. The first 300 people, who register will receive a hat or visor; all children, who register and sign up for a class on fishing given by Game and Fish instructors will get a free raffle ticket; and all children, who register, may have a picture taken of themselves with their fish.

Fish will be weighed and measured for anyone who wishes to have it done. There will be a food booth providing family style food, including breakfast, lunch and snacks for reasonable prices.

There will be a Bragging Board that lists names and catches throughout the day. Balloon sculptures, provided by John Wisner, will provide entertainment for all.

Among the major raffle prizes are: fishing trip for two at Roosevelt Lake; a two-night, three-day stay at Kohl's Ranch; and a deluxe fishing float tube combo with case, pump and flippers.

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Successful fishing at the first Optimist Kids Fishing Festival resulted in a few grimaces by novices, who didn't know quite what to do with their wiggling catches.

Raffle prizes for adults include: Backstreet Salon haircut by Jen; Breezes gift certificate; free oil change by Fletcher's on Highway 260; gift certificate to Fargo's Steakhouse; a Zobmondo game, for those 12 and up from the Optimist Club; Jafra basket of products from Shirley Dye; gift certificates from Macky's Grille; tickets to any Saturday night dance and a dance lesson from Payson Dance Studio; fishing rod and reel combos from the Optimist Club; Bashas' gift certificate; L'ANZA healing hair care set from KDJ's Beauty Mart; gift basket from Payson Florist and Gifts; 12-month subscription to the Payson Roundup; western shirts from the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce; gift certificates from Pizza Hut; shampoo and haircut from Kutting Edge Salon; tea light holders from DJ's Bed & Bath; something from Plant Fair; reverse glass owl picture from Irene Schwartzbauer; gift certificate from Legacy Home Furnishings; something from Fiesta Business Products; gift certificate from Safeway.

Children's raffle prizes include books, toys, games and children's jewelry from the Optimists, tickets to Sawmill Theatres; basket from Basket Creations by Lisa; Hot Wheel cars from Steve Salatti; toys from Wal-Mart; and Big Mac Value Meals from McDonald's.

Silent auction donations include a pendant by Dick Wolfe from Printing by George; a microwave from Appliances Plus and Mike Amon; bear claws and turquoise jewelry from Designs by Audrey; basket from Basket Creations by Lisa; the painting "Dream Big" from Marcia Buckpitt and All-Tech Medical Resale owners John and Tawnya Allaire; a western metal art basket from the Optimists; a Pampered Chef deep dish baker from Isabel Meza; and a basket of Halston products from Bruce, Cherie and Casey Griffin.

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The banks of the lakes at Green Valley Park will be teeming with anglers Saturday, April 12 at the Optimist Kids Fishing Festival.

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