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DHS news release

June 7, 2005


Contact: Patricia Feeny (503) 945-6955
Program contact: Wil Warren (503) 731-3147 ext. 2302


Oregon foster children participate in annual Free Fishing Weekend



It's a special day for special kids.


Hundreds of children who are in the state's foster care system will have an opportunity to go fishing for free on Saturday, June 11. The day is part of the 17th annual Free Fishing Weekend, sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and Portland Parks and Recreation.


Wil Warren, a DHS human services manager and event coordinator, said hundreds of foster boys and girls ranging from 8 to 18 will be fishing at Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The children are from Multnomah, Yamhill and Washington counties.


"We are providing our foster children with a memorable day of fishing and boating," Warren said. "This is their chance to have some fun and enjoy the outdoors."


From bait and boats to lifejackets and souvenir T-shirts, event coordinators and sponsors have everything covered at no cost to participants. Fishing rods, lunch and even fish cleaning service will be provided.


Gov. Ted Kulongoski commended Portland Parks and Recreation, ODFW and DHS for their work to organize this annual event, which has benefited more than 3,000 children in the state's foster care system since 1990.


"Many people have worked very hard to make this a special day for some very special kids," said the governor. "This experience increases self-esteem and self-confidence for the kids but also enriches the lives of the many adults involved. I hope it will also begin a life-long love for fishing and the natural recreational opportunities that are unique to Oregon."


In 2004, 14,485 children, including infants, toddlers and teenagers, were served in foster care.


For more information about Free Fishing Weekend and directions to Hagg Lake, go to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Web site