Thomasville- As summer hits full swing, there's one thing on many people's mind: being outdoors. While that's always a good time, it can also be therapeutic. That's the idea behind a senior citizens "fishing rodeo" sponsored by the city of Thomasville, area YMCA's, and businesses.
The annual senior citizen fishing rodeo at Cassidy Road Pond is more than just a good time. "It takes away all your worries," says senior John Mickens.
The rodeo is a free day of relaxation, sponsored by the city and several local businesses. It's sun, fun, and, best of all, food. "They give us hot dogs and stuff like that to eat, drinks, cold drinks," says Mickens.
Organizer Camille Payne says there's a guaranteed spirit booster for the seniors: sure-fire catches in a stocked pond. "There are ample fish out here. They haven't been fed in about a week and a half so they're hungry," she says.
Of course this fishing rodeo is about fun. But it's also about getting senior citizens out of what could otherwise be a monotonous day at home or a retirement community. "Most seniors like to fish. They fished as children, and it's something they remember doing and like to do," says Payne.
Organizers also like the event. It's therapeutic for them as well. The best part, "Watching the folks smile when they catch fish," laughs Payne.
Some of the participants even smile when they don't catch anything but fresh air. "I can probably use that sinker I caught," says senior Tommy Suber. And then there's Mr. Mickens, who seems to have all the luck. "Caught two, threw them back because they were so small," he says. It was a big event made possible by more than 25 volunteers with even bigger hearts.
The city stocks Cassidy Road Pond in December and again in March. After the senior citizen's fishing rodeo, and another one for children, it's opened to the public.