Owners of Goshen lake host special needs fishing tournament

Special needs fishing tournament connects community

GOSHEN, OH (FOX19) - The first annual special needs fishing tournament at Lake Cozy-Dale in Goshen was such a success on Sunday that organizers are already planning for next year.

The event connected children and adults with disabilities with their desire to explore nature.

"It's such a blessing to see it. It's something you don't see every day," Heidi Wethington said.

Heidi and B.J. Wethington hosted the event on Sunday, the first of its kind at the lake. Anyone, of any age, with any kind of disability, could take part. A big part of the crowd ended up being children.

"These kids don't get to do outdoor activities. They're stuck inside a lot in their schools," B.J. said. "They don't get to enjoy nature."

For the couple, it's the raw reactions, the expressions on their faces, that are most rewarding.

"It's actually the best part of it," Heidi said. "That's why we looked forward to it so much was to see their faces, to know they can do this."

The feedback on the fishing tournament has been so positive, they're already looking ahead to 2019.
"We want to have that place where those kids are welcome, and they feel comfortable, and they feel safe," B.J. said.

Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Hamilton Township Fire and EMS crew were there Sunday too.

Heidi and B.J. said they'd also like to host week-long camp programs and plan to have events for veterans as well.

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