Green River Star -

People Editor 

Gorge fishing trip fun for residents


September 27, 2017

Courtesy photo

Loyce Reicher and Paul Zubatch are happy to show off their catch of the day.

The thrill of catching a fish is fun no matter what age one is.

For 16 Mission at Castle Rock and Villa Assisted Living residents, this was something they were able to experience again.

For the third year in a row, employees and volunteers took the residents on the Annual Rippin' Lips Fishing Trip to Flaming Gorge reservoir.

Recently, the group traveled down to Cedar Springs Marina, where they rented four boats. Four residents, 20 volunteers and care partners were assigned to each boat.

"Getting these residents outside, in the sunshine, doing something they love is so important for their health, both physically and emotionally," CRRC activities director and volunteer coordinator Heidi Schuh said. "They need to experience life. Just because they are elderly and living in a nursing home, doesn't mean they can't do the things they used to do." 

Planning and completing an event like this takes a lot of work. The trip officially started at 7:30 a.m. when all of the buses were loaded.

"The day is made special because the excitement starts the minute we start loading the buses. You can feel it in the air," Schuh said. "The residents are anxious to start the adventure. We encourage family to join. which makes it that much more special. It's more than a fishing trip, it's a lifelong memory for some of these family members." 

Once the buses were loaded, the group then made their way down to the gorge, which was an hour-and-a-half drive. Once at Cedar Springs Marina, the group loaded onto the boats. Schuh said they were on the water from about 10:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"We rent the boats from Cedar Springs Marina, and have for the last three years.  They are awesome to work with, and support us in any way they can," Schuh said. "They help load and unload boats and are always so friendly. They give us a good deal as well, saying they think it's great what we are doing for our residents and how they are so happy to be part of it. We really appreciate them."

While on the boats, those attending were treated to chicken salad sandwiches and chips, along with various snacks, pops and waters. Of course, the snacks are only eaten when fish aren't biting. Between the four boats, the group caught 15 fish. However, Schuh said most of the fish were pretty small and so they released them back into the reservoir.

She said the residents attending the trip may not have been too competitive, but the care partners were sure trying to outdo each other. As for the weather, the group couldn't have asked for a better day.

"This was the best year for weather so far. It was sunny and beautiful," she said. "We loaded all the residents up on sunscreen and made sure they had hats. They loved the warm weather as a lot of them are cold all the time." 

Schuh wanted to thank the community for making this event a possibility and give a special thank you to Cedar Springs Marina and the Wyoming Game and Fish. Mission raffles off numerous gift baskets throughout the year to raise money. All of the proceeds from the raffles go in the resident activity fund, which is used to pay for fun events like this.

"This event is great because it truly takes the entire community to pull off. From the businesses who donate baskets for raffles, to those who buy raffle tickets, to those who volunteer their time or supplies, to all of our care partners, to residents and families," Schuh said. "It's our biggest event of the year, and it takes a lot of planning and preparation, which is all worth it when you see those smiling faces."


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