(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
"Our fish are usually caught and donated by a group of local fishermen," said Donna Thomas, director at First Choice. "The fish were slow to bite this year, so for the first time ever we had to buy fish -- and the fisherman took it hard!"
Nonetheless, the faith-based non-profit served 877 people at Walnut Ridge Farms, and estimate they will clear about $45,000. "That's our biggest event yet," said Thomas.
For the second year in a row, cloudy skies and rain threatened throughout the day, but held off until just after the event's finish at 7 p.m. "The weather turned out to be great," said Thomas. "The Lord provided a nice breeze and held the rain off until we were done."
The event features both a silent and a live auction, and offered door prizes throughout the day, including an iPad 3 won by Michelle Hasty, and a Kindle Fire won by Nancy Crowell.
More children were in attendance at this year's event than ever before, "The pony rides are a big hit, as well as the zip line," said Thomas.
The center ministers on services to families, primarily to women, men and babies in crisis pregnancy situations. The center also offers abstinence education to local schools, parenting classes to new and expectant parents, and support to women who have experienced abortions.
According to Thomas, the fishermen are already devising a plan for next year's event, so as to not be outdone by the fish, or the growing attendance.
For more information on First Choice, or to make a donation, contact the center at (931) 680-0066.