Nearly two dozen kids ages 10 – 17 spent the morning fishing while learning about the importance of making positive life choices. The kids teamed up with HCSO special deputy volunteers in an effort to build trusting relationships and reel in a big catch.
"I really value the contribution of the special deputies for their commitment to public safety. This is an example of how the special deputies donate their time to interact with kids and to facilitate positive events for children in our community," said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.
The focus of the annual sheriff's office tradition is to keep at-risk youth from experimenting with drugs by promoting fun, recreational activities as a healthy alternative. The fishing event took place at Sheriff's Water Patrol Headquarters in Spring Park on Lake Minnetonka. Nearby marinas donated the use of three pontoon boats for the day. For some of the children, this was their very first time fishing.
"I want to thank the sheriff's office for giving these kids the opportunity to go fishing and the chance to really get to know many of the deputies. Today will definitely have a lasting impact and I know many of the children will also leave with new role models to look up to," said Keith Henslin of the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities.
In January, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Community Engagement Team hosted the first ever winterized Hooked on Fishing; Not Drugs.
The Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation (HCSF) in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities has sponsored all previous Hooked on Fishing; Not Drugs events. The Hennepin County Sheriff Foundation assists the 120 volunteer special deputies throughout the sheriff's office while providing programmatic support for youth programs in the community. While entirely independent of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the HCSF collaborates with the sheriff and his staff to identify and prioritize special needs that are not funded through Hennepin County's ordinary budget process.
Hooked on Fishing; Not Drugs is a national program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice with support from Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the county.