USSA Childs Wish Kids Event at Lake Guntersville

Some special needs children will be having a special time at Lake Guntersville this weekend. The May 18-20 event is the 10th year for the kids to receive some special love from dedicated sponsors and volunteer anglers at this location.

charity, catfish, anglers, kids

A group photo from the 2017 event. Photo courtesy of Dawn Wade Fountain.

United Special Sportsman Alliance, Inc. (USSA) is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit wish granting charity that specializes in sending critically ill and disabled youth and disabled veterans on a free outdoor adventure of their dreams. Brigid O’Donoghue is the CEO and Founder, USSA. She has been involved with providing these special events at this location for 18 years. Local coordinators round up the volunteers and make it happen.

This weekend’s event is a combined effort of USSA and the Heart of the Valley YMCA. The location is  Camp Cha-La-Kee near the town of Guntersville in NE Alabama.  All meals, lodging, fishing licenses, and needed supplies & equipment are provided at no cost to the attendees.

“The event is for our special needs kids and their siblings,” said long-time volunteer Dawn Wade Fountain, “We give each child a new fishing rod/reel combo and tackle box. The kids love receiving stuffed animals and stickers, visors, snacks for the boat, etc. The USSA brings these kids over for a free fishing trip!”

Volunteers are the heart of any operation like this. Dawn reports that she has a big surprise for the anglers on Saturday when they come back in from fishing to have lunch. Some of the anglers have been helping with the event for all of the ten years the event has been held. Eight or nine of the anglers have never missed an event during that period of time.

All the volunteers are excited that the time has come to meet this year’s kids and their families. You can learn more about the Child Wish programs by visiting

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