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Arizona angling. (Sports & Recreation).

"We didn't see many fish caught, but smiling faces were abundant," says David Helfand, Fishing Has No Boundaries-Arizona Chapter chairman. Held October 19-20 near Phoenix, the chapter's sixth annual event was offered to people with any disability. It featured two days of bass-pro-guided fishing, great food, and lots of fun. FHNB organized the volunteer-based, sponsor-funded weekend and supplied everything participants needed to enjoy fishing.

"What makes a Fishing Has No Boundaries event unique is that we take our participants out on boats to enjoy fishing and to have a complete and intimate experience with the outdoors and beauty of nature," explains Helfand. "There's no better way to make new friends and enjoy the camaraderie of a big event than to spend a weekend involved in a fun recreational activity. People with disabilities need recreation just like everyone else."

Using pontoon boats supplied by local fishermen, 30 participants took to the waters of Lake Pleasant, northwest of Phoenix. Area bass pros and volunteers from bass clubs acted as guides.

Arizona Game and Fish supplied the fishing equipment as well as an instructive talk and waived the license requirement for the event. Approximately 15 fish--mainly largemouth bass--were caught (and released) over the weekend, but the relatively slow fishing did not dampen the fun.

"The boat I was on only caught one fish," says Chris Long, of Tempe, Ariz. "But we had a great time on the lake, and I'm already looking forward to next year's event. It's really nice that Fishing Has No Boundaries organizes this; I don't need to do anything but show up!"

The 2003 outing will take place in October, but FHNB-Arizona also has an outreach program throughout the year ([480] 784-4096). Other FHNB events occur at different times across the country.

Fishing Has No Boundaries is a national organization based in Hayward, Wis., and currently has 14 chapters. All events are open to anyone with a disability.

Contact: (800) 243-3462 / www.fhnbinc.org. Additional event photos are at www .fhnbaz.org/fhnbpics.htm.

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Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:335
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