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CAST For Kids seeks volunteer boat captains

The CAST For Kids organization is looking for some help in creating a special day on Emigrant Lake next month for a bunch of special kids.

After a two-year hiatus, the organization, whose acronym stands for Catch A Special Thrill, is returning to the Rogue Valley by holding a fishing and boating event for 40 special-needs kids July 15 on Emigrant Lake.

Event leaders, however, are in need of volunteer boat captains to take at least one kid and one parent or guardian on a morning fishing and boating expedition before a picnic lunch at Emigrant Lake County Park.

"Most of these kids have never been boating and never caught a fish," says Jay Yelas, the event coordinator. "This is a quality outdoor recreation experience for special-needs kids."

Driftboats and other boats 15 feet or longer are needed, with jetboats and pontoon boats "ideal," Yelas says.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., finishing with a barbecue and awards ceremony in which each participant will receive a plaque with his or her picture and a little microphone time to tell their fish story.

"It's a chance to honor the kids in front of their family and peers," Yelas says. "These kids don't get honored that often."

Boat captains will convene at 7 a.m. at the county park boat ramp to launch their boats and take part in a safety meeting, Yelas says.

Cole Rivers Hatchery technicians are scheduled to stock 1,000 rainbow trout at the ramp on the eve of the event so boaters won't have to look far to catch some fish, he says.

So far, CAST For Kids has about a dozen boats and captains signed up, but Yelas says the organization needs at least 30 boats.

To volunteer, sign up at the organization's website at www.castforkids.org/event/emigrantlake or call Yelas at 541-602-9823.

CAST For Kids was a mainstay at Hyatt Lake for many summers, but the event was suspended in 2015 because of low-water conditions at the reservoir.

With the return, Yelas says, the organization opted for Emigrant Lake because it is closer to the Rogue Valley, where all the participants live.

This is one of four CAST For Kids events planned this summer in Oregon and more than 70 nationwide in 30 states, Yelas says.

The other Oregon events will be held outside of Portland, Bend and Roseburg, he says

Ride the Rim needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help put on the annual Ride the Rim events Sept. 9 and 16 at Crater Lake National Park.

The event is an opportunity to hike or bike any or all of the 25-mile road around Crater Lake.

The road is closed to vehicles from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days

Volunteers are needed to serve as parking attendants, help with set-up and tear-down, and serve as bike corral and rest-stop attendants. Hours for each position vary.

Volunteers will get a commemorative T-shirt for their efforts.

The event is put on annually by the National Park Service and the Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.

To inquire about volunteering, visit the event's website at www.ridetherim2017.com.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtfribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.