By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
In a couple of weeks, the Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby will begin at the Oconaluftee Island Park. For over a decade, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has hosted this special event, encouraging sportsmanship and family bonding. The Derby is an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and build on relationships.
Our lives are filled with things to do. Balancing the many areas of daily responsibility can be a full time job in itself. And, if there is a child in your life, the world around you can be a very hectic place. The Derby affords a free, fun and safe event that allows parents and other caretakers to participate with their children in fun fishing on the river.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is interested in making a positive difference in children’s lives. The Tribe assembles hundreds of volunteers and supplies several resources to make the Derby happen. In addition, several individuals and businesses sponsor the event. No effort or equipment is spared in assuring that each child and family has a fun and safe experience.
The importance of the Children’s Trout Derby may be seen in the dedication of those who volunteer for the event. Many community members, who volunteer year after year, do it because of their love of children and their understanding of how important it is for children and parents to have this opportunity to share this experience. Some of the volunteers are visitors from other cities and states who brought their children to the Derby over the years and now want to help other parents make those special moments with their children.
Thousands of children and thousands more family members come to Cherokee every year in anticipation of this very special event. Each child is looking for the chance to net the big one. Many of them will go home with trout and prizes. All of them will net a special moment with their families that will be remembered for lifetime.
The Talking Trees Trout Derby preregistration is on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10am – 6pm at the Cherokee Fairgrounds. Fishing begins Saturday, Aug. 2 on the Oconaluftee Islands at 6am, and the event concludes at 2pm.