The 2012 Fishin’ Galore event for St. Jude patients and their families was held on Saturday May 5, 2012 and had the largest turnout in our 18 years with over 1300 people attending. Over 130 St. Jude patients and over 800 family members from all over the state of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee turned out for a special day of fun, food, and fishing on Saturday May 5, 2012. The patients received gifts of a camera, bag, and memory stick to expand the theme of “making memories and following dreams”. A photo booth was available for all attendees to capture memories of the event.

The day hosted by the Dream Day Foundation based in Baton Rouge, LA, corporate sponsors and hundreds of volunteers from the greater Baton Rouge community who provide for the St. Jude patients and their families a day away from illness, hospitals, needles, and the anxiety many of the patients suffer. The day offered bass fishing, pond fishing, archery, skeet shooting, a petting zoo, motorcycle and 4-wheeler riding, Home Depot building, arts and crafts, face painting, riding a man lift, and a picture with the famous Swamp People. Food and activities were free for all attending.

St. Jude patients are invited back each year often times with their own families. As one mother of a patient, Dana Blanchard says: “I just had to write and tell you how grateful we are for everything that you, the Dream Day Foundation Board, Volunteers and numerous others do to provide us with what truly is a “Dream Day” for Fishin’ Galore. The fun of the day is a given, ( I would live at the skeet shooting tent if they let me…. I LOVE doing that) but the intangible is the connection with the other patient families that we get to re-connect with and for the kids to continue to see each other as they grow up. As the years go and there are thankfully more and more survivors, many of these children face the emotional ups and downs that having a cancer diagnosis brings. One revelation to me was that many feel so special and singled out when they are on treatment and when they successfully finish and the years pass, that feeling of no longer being special sometimes settles in. This day keeps them as stars they are for having won their battle.”

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