October 6, 2013 12:36:51 AM
Banks around Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge were filled with young fishing enthusiasts Sept. 28 as 55 children from Palmer Home's Columbus and Hernando campuses were treated to a day in the great outdoors, thanks to 24 U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees participating in the Advanced Leadership Development Program. Dropping lines in the water and a cookout were on the agenda.
Each year, the leadership program must identify a "conservation legacy" opportunity. This year's class decided to honor Sam D. Hamilton, former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Palmer Home for Children. The legacy project titled "Connecting Children with Nature at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge" invited children out for a one day fishing tournament.
"The event was a huge success and the children had such a great time!" said Katharine Hewlett, director of marketing and communications for Palmer Home. "What a beautiful day we had too. We are excited to be a part of such a great project and are thankful to the team for selecting Palmer Home to help honor Sam Hamilton."
Refuge Manager Steve Reagan said, "There is a strong connection between the local community and Palmer Home. My staff and I are extremely proud we can play a part in helping connect the Palmer Home kids with nature through this fishing event."
A special "Connecting Children with Nature Fund" covered transportation to the Refuge from both Palmer Home campuses and other expenses associated with the event. In addition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the day's activities were also sponsored by the Friends of Noxubee Refuge.
According to Drake Bassett, president and C.E.O of Palmer Home, "This brings together two great Mississippi stories: Palmer Home for Children and Sam D. Hamilton. We are excited for our children to experience the outdoors with professionals who lead the way in teaching the value of nature conservation and recreation. It's a great event and we are thrilled to be a part of it."
Since 1895, Palmer Home, a privately funded nonprofit, has been a leader in residential child care with a mission to provide long-term care for children who lack adequate family structure. For more information, go to palmerhome.org.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.