Take Kids Fishing Day has returned! Thanks to the efforts of Wisconsin union members, building trades councils, and local labor councils, hundreds of kids in Wisconsin got to experience the joys of fishing over the weekend. Participants learned tips for catching fish firsthand from union members and received a free fishing pole and picnic-style lunch and snacks.
The annual Take Kids Fishing Day is sponsored by the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO, the Greater West Central Labor Council, the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin, the Western Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council, the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and Humana. National and founding sponsors include Ace Hardware of La Crosse, Bank of Labor, Carhartt, Provost Umphrey, Plano, Buck Knives, Ullico, Union Insurance Group, AFL-CIO Investment Corporation, Wildgame and Thorogood.
Fishing events were held Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6 in Eau Claire, Janesville, La Crosse and Madison. The event is great fun for young fishers and just as rewarding to the union member organizers who get to witness the joy it brings to participants firsthand.
“We could not have asked for a more beautiful day for the 9th annual Take Kids Fishing Day in La Crosse,” said Bill Brockmiller, Secretary-Treasurer of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “This event is not about how many fish you catch, or even if you catch a fish at all, but about the joy of getting together with family and the greater area community to get outside and spend some quality time together outdoors.”
Volunteers for the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO event included brothers & sisters from UA 434, IAMAW 1115, AFT 4999, ATU 519, IAMAW 21, AFSCME Retirees Chapter 32 – Subchapter 101, AFGE 1346, Iron Workers 383, IAMAW District Lodge 66, & IBEW 14.
The Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin said, “The Madison Take a Kid Fishing 2021 event was a HUGE success! Thank you to the many volunteers who made this possible. What a great memory these kids now have because of the hardworking women & men in the Union Building Trades.”
Greg Erickson President of the Western Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council said of the Eau Claire area fishing event, “another beautiful, union-made day on the water. Take Kids Fishing Day is a great time together with union member volunteers who spend the time putting together this community event together to pass along the joy of fishing to the younger generation. Proud of all the union brothers and sisters who make this yearly event possible. It’s a great way to give back to the community and protect Wisconsin’s great outdoors.”
These free events are staffed entirely by volunteers from the labor community and are a prime example of the value of introducing youth and their families to a healthy, outdoor pastime and the value of strong unions in our communities.
“Take Kids Fishing Day brings smiles to so many kids. There’s nothing like being a part of someone’s first catch,” said Robert Potter, Business Agent/ Financial Secretary, Heat and Frost Insulators Union Local 19. “It makes all the hard work behind the scenes worth it. It is dedication from our union member volunteers that take the time to separate worms, assemble poles, organize food, and share their angling experience that make this event a safe, fun, and successful endeavor.”