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OKLAHOMA CITY – After organizing a day of fishing for foster children at a southwest Oklahoma City Park this past weekend, State Sen. Paul Rosino is already working on plans for other similar events around the state. Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, is vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is one of the state agencies under that committee and administers the state’s foster care program.
“We have about 7,700 foster children in Oklahoma. Many have experienced more challenges and trauma than most people can ever imagine. My heart goes out to them and the compassionate families who make room in their hearts and homes for these children,” Rosino said. “At a time when so many activities are limited due to COVID-19, I wanted to organize an event that would not only be safe and fun, but that would help support these kids and their foster families.”
Rosino decided a day of fishing would fit the bill perfectly. He reached out to DHS and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and both agencies responded enthusiastically. Rosino also reached out to the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the Oklahoma City Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 157, who donated fishing gear, food, and provided volunteers to help with the event, which was held this past weekend at South Lakes Park, located in Rosino’s southwest Oklahoma City district. The families were able to keep the fishing gear and received fishing licenses as well.
“It was just incredible. The kids had an absolute ball, and so did the foster families. Many hadn’t fished much before, if at all, but they had a fantastic time—we all did,” Rosino said. “It was really uplifting for everyone who participated. Some of these families don’t have a lot of resources, but they are willing to share what they have to help make a critical difference in the lives of Oklahoma foster children. This was a way of thanking and supporting them and showing the parents and kids that we care about them.”
Rosino said the event was such a success that he’s already reaching out to other members of the senate to plan additional events for foster children in the state.
“We have 77 counties in Oklahoma, and every single county has foster children,” Rosino said. “I’m excited about finding more partners and exploring other events to support these families. I want to thank all our volunteers, including state agency employees, police and firefighters for everything they did to brighten the lives of these children and families.”
For more information, contact Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov.