Every year, Manatee Sail & Power Squadron treats 25 to 30 girls to a day of fishing fun.

Every year, Manatee Sail & Power Squadron treats 25 to 30 girls to a day of fishing fun.

squadron helps At-risk youth

Fishing event reels in fun

One of Manatee Sail & Power Squadron’s most rewarding and fun civic service projects is its association with Just for Girls. This nonprofit provides alternative education for at-risk middle-school girls in Manatee County, Fla., who have difficulty in a traditional school setting.

Throughout the squadron’s 10-year association with Just for Girls, members have served as tutors and substitute teachers, donated personalized gift bags, and provided baked goods for school events.

Both the squadron and the girls eagerly look forward to the fishing trip they take three times a year at a local pier. The squadron provides fishing poles, tackle, bait and snacks for the girls.

Squadron members provide one-on-one fishing instruction to about 25 to 30 girls. For the girls, catching their first fish is a big event, usually accompanied by yelling and jumping. Each girl gets a picture of her prize.

Afterward, squadron volunteers grill hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone.

Just for Girls uses the fishing event to reward girls for good behavior and achievement. For their part, squadron members experience firsthand how a civic service project can positively affect the lives of so many deserving young women.