Friends who fish together, stay together to fight against bullying & promote peace
An anti-bullying organization is helping bullying victims find friends and acceptance through bi-weekly fishing events.
Knock Out Bullying Inc. started Fishing with Friends in May of this year. The organization began in October 2013 because of the founder and president Stacy Hatcher, her daughter Katelynn, and Katelynn’s best friend Destiny, all of Yukon.
“There was bullying going on with a little girl that lived near us, and the girls came to me and asked ‘how can we get this to stop? It’s everywhere and it’s going between both of the schools,’” Hatcher said.
Hatcher helped Katelynn and Destiny come up with a solution of standing up for the other girl, but it didn’t work the first time. Finally, the two girls began making a bigger stand and they got it to stop.
“Everyone liked what they were doing so we kind of formed a little group,” Hatcher said.
Knock Out Bullying began with six girls at a picnic table, but now Hatcher said she never knows how many will come to the monthly meet ups.
“With Knock Out Bullying, we were trying to figure out what we could do to bring the community together and honestly, I thought ‘what does Katelynn know, and what do I know?’ and we know fishing.
Fishing can bring people together,” Hatcher said. “We just went off of something we knew that we could do. If we could get people to start coming out then maybe they could see each other in school or wherever, and if something is going on, then they can be like ‘hey, I know that person’ and then they may take up for them.”
Fishing with Friends is hosted from 4-6 p.m. every other Sunday until the weather gets cold at Route 66 Park, 9901 N.W. 23rd St. near Lake Overholser.
Children of all ages come together for the event. They’ve had children from throughout Canadian County. How many children come to the event just depends on the day, but there is roughly about 40 children each time.
Special guests or mascots sometimes come to the event. The Blazers hockey team attended the last Fishing with Friends. The next one is Sunday, Sept. 25.
Fishing with Friends is a family event and is open to anyone interested in attending. All fishing licenses and permits are applicable for anyone 16 and older. All minors should have adult supervision.
For more information or to make a donation, visit the “Fishing with Friends Knock Out Bullying, INC.” Facebook page or contact Hatcher directly at 537-5112.