The Arc is a member of the Kids Invitational Fishing Classic Committee, a non-profit organization which hosts an annual fishing tournament for students with intellectual disabilities in schools across Calhoun and Cleburne County on the first Thursday of May.

Grown substantially in size since the tournament was first held in Calhoun County Commissioner Eli Henderson’s swimming pool in 1996, the invitational tournament now hosts about 200 participants  from high school, middle school and elementary school classes. In 2011 the tournament grew once again as it moved to Oxford Lake for the first time.

Participants compete in two divisions, with high school and middle school students fishing from 9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. and elementary students fishing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Prizes are awarded in both divisions to the classes who catch the most fish as well as the individual boy and girl who catch the most fish and the biggest fish. Participants also receive a lunch of hot dogs and chips provided by event volunteers and sponsors.

Members of the committee include representatives from The Calhoun County Commission, The Alabama Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Calhoun County 911 EMA, RSVP, Calhoun County Extension Service, The City of Oxford/Oxford Parks and Recreation Department, Ogle Signs and The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties. Volunteers from area civic groups, businesses and high schools assist the participants and provide the leg work for the preparation and clean-up of the annual event.

Scenes from the 2011 Kids Invitational Fishing Classic