MOUNT VERNON — The Fourth Annual Rotary-Kiwanis Foundation Park Fun Day was held Saturday under beautiful skies, with events for the whole family.
Free fishing was available with no license required, and free canoeing was also on the event list. Other activitiess included a retriever dog demonstration, a water safety display and an archery demonstration. Members of Pheasants Forever were on hand with birding information and a demonstration of bird calls.
“It’s an exciting day for our Knox County Parks District and our partners,” said Kim Marshall, director of the parks district. “We have a kiddy fishing competition event today. We’re really excited because we’ve got at least 100 people out here fishing today.”
Jennifer Odenweiler, a Kiwanis member and coordinator for the event, said 400 people came through the gates in the first hour.
“It’s a beautiful day out here,” she said. “It’s a great day to bring families together in a free environment to enjoy some of Knox County’s finest outdoor activities.”
It was a day for families to spend time together canoeing and fishing. Fathers and sons, and even grandfathers and granddaughters, were spending time together and experiencing the art of fishing. Joe Christopher and his granddaughter, Addison, 5, had felt the triumph of victory before the day was an hour old.
“We’re having a great time,” Christopher said. “She’ caught one already. We’re working on our second one.”
“I caught a bluegill,” Addison said. “It was 6 inches. This is my first time. I’m having a good time.”
Jonathan Wise, 9, was spending the day fishing with his dad, Pete. Jonathan and Pete came in from Danville for the day.
“I’ve only been fishing about a year,” Jonathan said. “I’m having a good time.”
“That’s my fishing buddy there,” Pete said. “This is a really great thing they do here. It’s nice.”
Mike “Pappy” Martin was there with sons Ryan and Andrew.
“I’m trying to catch the biggest fish,” Ryan said.
“We’re having a great time today, aren’t we, guys?” Mike asked his sons. “We’re working at trying to catch some fish. We’ve been trying to keep from getting tangled up with all of our neighbors.”
When asked if he was going to catch anything today, Andrew responded with an emphatic “Yes.”
The Rotary-Kiwanis Foundation Park Fun Day is an opportunity for families around the county to experience an afternoon of family-oriented activities at no cost. Foundation Park is a perfect place for this type of activity, with two lakes, picnic areas and walking trails.
In addition to Rotary and Kiwanis, local businesses and individuals contributed to making the day a success. They include the city of Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources — Division of Watercraft and Wildlife, Knox County Fish and Game Association, the Knox County Park District, and the Muskingum Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Also contributing were First-Knox National Bank; Ohio Cumberland Gas; the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Knox County Fish and Game; The Energy Cooperative; Pheasants Forever; Robert Atwell, DPM; Music to Go by Jim and Rick Bonnette; Jen and Marc Odenweller; Pressler & Carpenter Family Dentistry; Knox Community Hospital; Katie and Keith Burley; The Peoples Bank; M. Vickie Kinney; Wal-Mart; Printing Arts Press; John Seavolt; T-Shirt Express; Nelson & Nelson CPAs; Gordy and Fran Yance; and the Kokosing Valley Bass Club.