“Oh, my golly!” said Humbolt Elementary fourth-grader Maddy Hassmiller as she caught her fourth fish of the day at the May 4 Elks Buddies Fishing Day.

A total of 13 kids fished at Gale and Shirley Enright’s Mt. Vernon ranch, which includes ponds stocked with bass and blue gill.

There were 17 John Day Elks Lodge members and other volunteers assisting the kids, including five Grant School District 3 staff members.

Ethan Kerbs, who caught 10 fish, was enjoying the day.

“I love it because I get to touch them and throw them into the water,” he said of the fish he caught and released.

His fishing buddy Ken Peterson said it was his first time volunteering this year.

“Seeing a kid catch his first fish — it’s the most exciting thing,” Peterson said.

Lynda Christensen, who was assisting Hassmiller, said the thrill of each catch was just like the first for the young anglers.

“I just love the kids,” she said. “It’s great to see them out here having a good time.”

Jim Spell said it was his third time volunteering.

He said the best part of the program is “seeing them be successful and seeing them stick with it.”

Gale Enright said this was their sixth year hosting the event.

“It’s always great to see their smiling faces when they catch a fish,” he said.

The Enrights said that although they enjoy hosting the event, this would likely be their last one.

“It takes a lot of effort, and it takes everybody to make it work,” Shirley Enright said.

“We want to give a big thank you to Grant School District 3 and the Elks, too,” Gale said.

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