POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie Police Officers brought back the Police Athletic League (PAL) “Hooked on Fishing” event for kids on Sunday to much praise from community members.
More than 100 children and their families came to Morgan Lake to try and catch rainbow trout that were stocked in the water two weeks ago by Ken and Cheryl Rose who have been helping with events like this for more than 30 years.
The PAL received a $1,000 donation from Stewart’s Shops to help with the day. The local Stewart’s also sent two employees to the lake to provide scoops of ice cream to the kids that were participating. “This is one more way we are trying to be a part of the community,” said Wael Hassan, district manager for Stewart’s. Stewart’s collects donations at all of their stores from Thanksgiving to Christmas each year. The corporation then matches all of the funds collected and disperses them through a grant application process. Detective Chris Libolt wrote the successful application that resulted in the donation for the PAL.
The PAL gave away new fishing poles to the first 35 kids that signed up for the event. The Hudson Valley Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, represented by Ken and Cheryl Rose also brought “loaner” poles for kids that didn’t bring any. PAL provided bait for participants and Mr. Rose provided the scale used for weighing in the catches.
The trophy for the largest catch by a female went to Michaela Blue, 9, who caught the first fish of the day, a rainbow trout that tipped the scales at 0.54 pounds. Six-year-old Jordan Swartz reeled in a 0.59 pound rainbow to take home the boys trophy for largest catch.
Satira Brown, a community activist from Poughkeepsie, praised the event saying that “this exposes kids to new things and it also improves relations between the police and the community.” Mark Gresch, 15, an angler that caught a half-pound rainbow said the event “is really cool. The cops are helping us and that’s important.”Detective Matt Cutler pointed out that in addition to the “Hooked on Fishing” event, the PAL is also sponsoring three baseball and two softball teams in local leagues in effort to give the kids “something positive to do.”