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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Fishing derby draws a crowd

  • The annual Sgt. Audie Murphy Club Fishing Derby took place on post Saturday morning. Large crowds attended the popular event, designed as a way to celebrate the end of the first week of school.
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  • The annual Sgt. Audie Murphy Club Fishing Derby took place on post Saturday morning. Large crowds attended the popular event, designed as a way to celebrate the end of the first week of school.
    President of the SAMC 1st Sgt. Greg Kleinholz and Derby Chairperson Master Sgt. Sharon Carson, said they were happy to sponsor the event and welcomed dozens of children and their families to a day of fun.
    "Our hope is to get the kids out here," Kleinholz said. "This is our event to give back to the community. We just want them to come out with their family, so they can learn how to fish and just have a good time."
    Carson added, "The community gives so much during the year. They support us so this is our way to say thank you."
    The event was free for the children, who were provided with a fishing pole and bait upon arrival.
    Staff Sgt. Heather Denby attended with her two children, 5-year-old Ava and 1-year-old Alexander.
    "This is a special moment for us because we've never fished," she said. "Daddy is working law enforcement right now so it's even more special for us to share this new adventure together."
    She said events like the SAMC Fishing Derby are important to military children and their parents.
    "I work at least 12 hours a day, so by the time I get home we have dinner and we go to bed," she explained. "This is a very important time for us to share as a family."
    That familiar scenario was one of the most important reasons the derby is held each year, according to Kleinholz.
    "Maybe this is the first time they've fished," he said. "Their parents are busy too … they can come out and fish and enjoy time together."
    "Once they catch that first fish it leaves a lasting impression on them," Carson added. "It shows that there's more to life than video games."
    Within the first hour of the event, nearly 40 children and family members surrounded the pond, casting their lines into the water in hopes of catching a fish. Carson said the cooler temperatures probably encouraged attendance.
    Each child who caught a fish received a small prize and a free lunch was provided. Prizes were also awarded to the child in each age group who reeled in the largest catch.
    Both Carson and Kleinholz thanked the various members of the Fort Leonard Wood community who provided support for the event, including the post's Natural Resources Department and game wardens, as well as the volunteers and members of the SAMC who helped with the event.

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