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Mission kids get chance to fish

Jul. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Serving on the board of directors at the Huntington City Mission has more responsibilities than perks. Just ask Dave Duffield.

Duffield, a Huntington lawyer, director of the children's program at the mission, held an inaugural fish tournament for more than a dozen children Saturday on a lake he stocked with fish several years ago.

"The directors hold a children's program every month," Duffield said. They'll pay for a trip to a Huntington Heroes ballgame, hold pool parties or other events for the kids, he said.

"The idea is to let them be real kids for a day," he said.

"I had the lake built several years ago and stocked it with bluegill and bass and a few catfish," Duffield said. "I also have some non-reproducing carp to help keep the lake clean. I hope we can do this again next year."

Chelsea Fields, 11, was among the first to reel in a bluegill at the lake Saturday morning. "It was cool," she said. "It's not the first time I've gone fishing. I caught a flathead catfish once before."

"I think this is an awesome event," said Stephen Spence who currently is staying at the mission. "It gives the kids something to do. It's a good opportunity to get them outside and learn. The kids have really been looking forward to this."

"The goal of the program is to help our families experience normal family events," said Pete Davidsion, the mission's executive director. "The board members pay for these events out of their own pocket and then shoe up and help. This is awesome."

He mission, which served more than 102,000 meals last year, has between 30 and 40 kids staying overnight on an average day, Davidson said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the mission can do so online at huntingtoncitymission.org.

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