Patrick & Katlin Collins
Katlin and Patrick with BASS Pro Guy Eaker
“The Wish to Fish Foundation” touched two young hearts April 6th with the help of their sponsors and two spectacular BASS pros.
In February the foundation was contacted through their website and informed of a child that would like to participate in the program. The child was 15-year old Patrick Collins from Sulphur Springs, Texas. His mother, Cheryl Nortin said, “Patrick has a life threatening heart condition which also affects his ability to perform any recreational time. He is unable to play sports, PE, or even walk for any length of time. He used to love to fish as a small child and in the last few years since his diagnosis at the age of 12 he has been unable to find anyone to go fishing with him for fear of his condition. He would be very surprised if this were a trip in his honor.”
If you have seen the hearts in front yards with the word Katlin painted on them and not known what they meant, it was to raise money for her heart transplant that she had on June 9, 2006. The fundraising project was conducted by their church in cooperation with others to cover the expenses of the operation and the medical expenses incurred.
Upon discovering this “The Wish to Fish Foundation” made the trip in honor of Patrick and Katlin. Sponsors of the program always make the trips the best they can possibly be. Wave Industries, Inc. presented the two children with gift packages which included a Tiki-Man beach towel, Wave T-Shirt, Tiki flip-flops, and some Wave baits. Covey Griffin owner of Lake Fork Lighthouse Resort donated a room for the family to reside in the night before their trip followed by breakfast for the family and the foundation directors conducting the trip. At breakfast Patrick and Katlin met Guy Eaker, professional angler and Captain of team #35 in the TTBC. They had their picture taken with him, were given some pointers on catching the big one and received his autograph.
Lunch on this trip was provided by Kenny and Becky Moser, owners of Moser’s Restaurant. At lunch Patrick and Katlin were truly shocked by a surprise visit from BASS Pro Kelly Jordon. I was more surprised than they were. I had called Kelly on Monday and asked if he could join us for lunch, meet the children and sign some autographs. Kelly informed me at that time he was still in California after fishing the Elite Top 50 on Clear Lake. Upon leaving there he had to drive straight through to conduct business on some property he had just bought and then home for Easter. You can imagine my surprise when he called me while we were having lunch and told me he had changed his plans so he could be there and was only 10 minutes away and could only stay for about 30 minutes. To me and the children this was the true testimony of a professional.
Kelly met the children, spoke and visited with them for much more than 30 minutes. He brought them autograph pictures with his tournament statistics on them and had his picture taken with them numerous times. The whole time he was there you would not have known he was on a tight schedule and set everything back to put smiles on the faces and in the hearts of these two beautiful children. Kelly will always be Patrick’s favorite among all professional fishermen. Patrick was admiring Kelly’s Oakley sunglasses and told him he had a pair almost just like his but someone had stolen them out of his locker at school. Little did Patrick know that Oakley is one of Kelly’s sponsors. Kelly upon hearing this went to his truck and returned with a brand new pair of Oakley sunglasses and presented them to Patrick. At dinner that evening he was offered up to $1,000 for those glasses and wouldn’t accept it. He said, “With that money I could replace the glasses but they wouldn’t be as special as ones given to me by Kelly Jordon!”
Fishing all day on Lake Fork builds a powerful hunger but our sponsors kept everyone well fed. By the luck we had that day on the lake with a strong Northwest wind and cold front moving in, the fish must have been well fed also. Some fish were caught but because of the conditions the catches were not great nor were there very many. Because of these factors “The Wish to Fish Foundation” is going to have Patrick, Katlin, mom, and dad back to enjoy a great day of fishing when the weather is more stable and the fish will cooperate.
The trip was concluded with dinner sponsored by Andy and Carolyn Johnson, owners of A.J.’s Fish House. They furnished dinner for the family and the directors and their wives. In this family environment the fellowship, friendship and compassion that is shared is beyond description.
With each trip the foundation does we receive much more in return than we give. This is just a small way of giving back to the sport of fishing all the joy and excitement we receive from it and our slogan is “Every child deserves a chance to fish!”
A very special “Thank You” goes to Joe Spaits for allowing us to put in at his boat launch and for the donated bag of fillets given to the family to take home. Also to Ken and Vee Law, ETS Systems for the donation of a computer for the two children.
“The Wish to Fish Foundation” lost another angel on January 8, 2008 when Katlin Marie Collins passed away. Many of you met her and her family when she was granted her trip in April 2007. “God truly must have needed another angel because he took one whose smile touched all of our hearts and souls!”
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