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Fishing Derby fast approaching

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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The Lincoln Police Activities League will hold its fourth annual fishing derby Sept. 19, and space is fast filling up. The event is sponsored by the Lincoln Kiwanis Club, PAL and the Lincoln Hills Fishing Group, said Steve Krueger, youth services officer with the Lincoln Police Department. The event is free, and lunch and fishing equipment are provided. “It’s a lot of fun for the kids,” Krueger said. “It’s a quality bonding experience with kids and adults, and it exposes them to outdoor activity.” Kids ages 7-12 can sign up for the event online at lkfderby.com, and they must be accompanied by an adult, Krueger said. The fishing derby is just one of many events that PAL is involved with throughout the year. Other events include camping trips, trips to see sports games and the operation of the Lincoln Youth Center. The Youth Center is now open 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are set aside for high school freshmen and sophomores, while the remaining days are open to middle school students. Attending the Youth Center is free, and it is supervised by police officers, volunteers and members of Redirect, another nonprofit organization. “We’re providing an outreach to the kids, giving them structured activities to get them off the street and giving them something to do so they’re not sitting at home with no one around,” Krueger said. Those activities, according to Krueger, help reduce the amount of youth crime and teaches them how to make better choices while being reinforced with positive peer pressure. As with most nonprofit organizations, PAL needs funding to provide its services, and the annual Lobsterfest fundraiser will be held Oct. 10. For more information about Lobsterfest and to buy tickets, visit lincolnpal.com. PAL’s ability to provide its services and give Lincoln’s youths a unique experience relies heavily on volunteers, Krueger said. “We are in desperate need of (volunteers),” Krueger said, adding that there are no special qualifications required, and the more diversity in volunteers’ backgrounds, the better it will be for the kids. Anyone with tutoring abilities is also welcome to volunteer at the Youth Center, located at 391 H St., to help kids with their homework. Anyone interested in volunteering can e-mail Steve Krueger at skrueger@ci.lincoln.ca.us. One possibility for the future of PAL involves cultural education trips – possibly to museums in San Francisco, Krueger said, adding that he hopes it will soon become a reality.