The snappers were definitely biting Saturday morning at the Autistic Childrens Fishing event held on the Ocean Breeze fishing pier.
Within the first few minutes of casting lines, children were reeling in catches. And with each snapper hooked, the participants were, too.
Its just great to see the expression on these kids faces, said John Seton, who sponsored the event under the John P. Seton Memorial Childrens Fishing Fund, named after his late father John P. Seton, a retired firefighter who died in August of 2012. My dad loved children and loved coming out to the pier here in his retirement. I think hed be really proud of this event.
Each child was given a shirt, hat, fishing rod and tackle box to keep. On the pier, they were accompanied by their guardians and volunteer fishermen from the Fishermens Conservation Association and the Staten Island Tuna Club.
These kids get so excited when they catch a fish, said Bill Paciello, FCA Vice Chairman and founder of the event. Paciello has been putting on the event at the pier for about a dozen years. Its great having these kids come back every year and watching them grow and get bigger and bigger.
Awards were given out for the first fish caught, the biggest fish caught and the most fish caught, though all in attendance receive a participation trophy.
Deputy Borough President Edward Burke spoke on behalf of Borough President James Oddo. He praised the event for giving these children a true experience with nature.
Some of these children have never seen a snapper or a flounder before, Burke said. Its a wonderful time for them to go out and learn about fishing, and by extension, environmental conservation.
By Vincent Barone | firstname.lastname@example.org