Close to 100 fishing-faithful turned out on Friday, June 2nd for the restart of the Annual Friends of Hickam Keiki Fishing Day. This was the 21st time that this event was held but this year’s was significant because it was the first time since pre-pandemic years – the last one being in 2019.
Both Friends of Hickam volunteers and keiki (along with their parents) from the Wing enjoyed a day of fun, sun, and fellowship. In addition to the day of fishing, there was an ample supply of food, beverages, and treats (chips, cookies, candies, and ice cream) for all.
As a bonus, every keiki who took part in this event went home with a FREE custom rod & reel set – just for joining us. All fish were caught and released and notably there were a few keiki who personally caught 30+ fish – future big game fishermen in the making for sure!
Also noteworthy is that 15th Wing Commander Col. Michele Lo Bianco as able to catch 9 fish in a very short span of time – despite losing the traditional “Fish-Off” between the standing 15th Wing Commander versus the Friends of Hickam President. FOH President Blane Asao was able to hook the first fish of the day – a ‘massive’ (LOL) 3-inch Tilapia to bring the win/loss tally to 11 (FOH Presidents) to 10 (15 th Wing Commanders). I know the Wing is waiting for its chance to even the score
There was a lot of hard work and planning that went into making this event a big success” shared Keiki Fishing Day Chairperson Ray LeBlanc. “And the FOH members who couldn’t make it out to the actual event still managed to kokua by donating food, refreshments, supplies and cash contributions. I take my hat off to them and would also like to thank all those that gave of their personal time and effort to make this a special day for the keiki of the 15 th Wing. For many of these keiki, this will be a day that they’ll remember forever.”
Ray also expressed that ‘we want to keep the momentum going’ with this event. “Now that everyone knows what this event is all about, we’re looking to double the attendance in 2024. Please be on the lookout for the Keiki Fishing Day announcement for around the same time next year!”
Our apologies if we inadvertently left anyone off this list but here’s our best recount of the many volunteers and donors of this year’s event:
Ray LeBlanc (Chair)
A1C Roman Encinas