Pen Wheels Tries Again; Holds Fishing Rodeo For Disabled

May 25, 2008


Call it the 34th and half annual Pen Wheels Fiesta of Five Flags Fishing Rodeo.

When the annual fishing rodeo for the disabled was first help on May 3, it did not just rain; it poured, putting a quick end to the event. It was the only rain out in the history of the event.

So organizers decide to try again Saturday, and they had perfect weather.

“We got rained out last time, and may people were sad about that,” Pen Wheels Vice President Pearline McLendon told “I’m so glad we are back here today. It is just so beautiful here.”

“It was organized to give disabled people a chance to get out,” said McLendon. “Many of these people have never fished before. This is just one way to get them out of their houses and the nursing homes into the community.”

Over the 34 year history of the fishing rodeo, it has been held at locations ranging from Ft. Pickens to the Three Mile Bridge in Pensacola. Since 2001, it has been held at Jantz’s Catfish Pond on South Highway 99, just off Highway 97.

“Jantz just does us right,” Pauline said. “I can’t say enough nice things about him. We never want to leave!”

Dozens of volunteers stood ready to help the disabled fish. They baited hooks, tossed a line and offered words of friendly encouragement. Many of the volunteers were from the Walnut Hill Mennonite Church.

About 60 disabled people were registered in Saturday’s fishing rodeo. They were from around the area, including Pensacola and Century. Several residents from the Century Care Center participated.Everything, including lunch, in Pen Wheels Fishing Rodeo is provided to the disabled for free as a project of the Pensacola Fiesta of Five Flags organization.

While Jantz Catfish Pond is not open for public fishing, nearby ponds belonging to Steve Hiebert (Mr. Steve’s Sweet Corn) are open for public fishing. For more information, call 327-4020.

For a complete photo gallery from the event, click here.

Pictured above and below: The Pen Wheel Fishing Rodeo for the disabled Saturday in Walnut Hill. exclusive photos, click to enlarge.



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