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A Magical Day at Berwind Lake: A Community United for Kids

This year’s “A Day of Fishing” at Berwind Lake was a resounding success, bringing joy and excitement to children and families across McDowell County. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of community members, sponsors, and county officials, the event not only lived up to expectations but set a new standard for future gatherings.

Building the Biggest Kids Day Yet

Commissioner Dewayne Dotson’s vision for “A Day of Fishing” was clear: “I want this to be the biggest kids day yet, and as long as I’m commissioner, I want to build on it each year.” His dedication to making the event a memorable experience for children shone through in every detail, from the planning stages to the day of the event.

The Caretta Conservation Club’s Crucial Role

The idea for this year’s event began back in March when Jeff Blevins of the Caretta Conservation Club reached out to Commissioner Dotson. Knowing Dotson’s lifelong love for Berwind Lake and his commitment to the community, Blevins proposed hosting a kids day at the lake. Dotson, enthusiastic about the idea, suggested involving Barry Hale of the McDowell County Economic Development Authority (EDA). Hale not only supported the idea but also committed the EDA’s participation.

With the framework in place, Blevins sought financial support from the county commission to help stock the lake with fish. Dotson guided him through the process, expressing his vision for the event. “I want this to be the biggest kids day yet, and build on it each year,” Dotson stated, and the McDowell County Commission, along with the EDA, was happy to contribute.

A Community Effort

As news of the event spread, multiple sponsors came forward to offer their support. The Refuse, Hillbillies ATV, RDD Trucking, Cleveland Cliffs, and Mountaineer Trout Farm all played vital roles in ensuring the day’s success. Special thanks go to Elliot and Rebecca Godfrey, who managed the food, ensuring everyone was well-fed and happy.

Josh Miller also deserves recognition for bringing additional fishing poles, making sure every child had the chance to participate. Delegate David Green did a fantastic job announcing the prizes, jokingly adding that next year, Dotson should have a cold Mt. Dew ready for him after his duties.

Celebrating with the Community

The Conservation Club members with State Delegate David Green, EDA President Barry Hale, Commissioners Michael Brooks and Dewayne Dotson, and some of the gifts the kids received.
The Conservation Club members with State Delegate David Green, EDA President Barry Hale, Commissioners Michael Brooks and Dewayne Dotson, and some of the gifts the kids received.

The event was truly magical, with countless children enjoying the thrill of fishing, the excitement of winning prizes, and the joy of spending a beautiful day outdoors. It was a testament to what the community can achieve when everyone works together toward a common goal.

County officials, including Prosecutor Brittany Puckett, Sheriff James Muncy, Commissioner Michael Brooks, and EDA President Barry Hale, were all present to show their support. Their involvement underscored the collective effort behind the event and the positive direction in which McDowell County is heading.

Commissioner Dewayne Dotson with his son and wife at the event. This year’s event was great, and they have already started receiving donations for next year.
Commissioner Dewayne Dotson with his son and wife at the event. This year’s event was great, and they have already started receiving donations for next year.

A Family Affair

Commissioner Dotson’s family, including his son and wife, were also present, highlighting the personal commitment and joy he brings to these community events. Their presence underscored the family-friendly atmosphere that makes “A Day of Fishing” such a cherished event.

Looking Forward

“A Day of Fishing” at Berwind Lake highlighted the power of community collaboration and the impact of dedicated leadership. Commissioner Dotson’s commitment to creating memorable experiences for children and fostering a sense of community pride is evident in the success of this event. As he envisions, each year will build on the last, making this cherished tradition even more special for the families of McDowell County.

This event goes to show you the new direction of this county and what we can achieve by everyone working together. The future looks bright with the continued support and dedication of leaders like Commissioner Dewayne Dotson and the many community members and sponsors who make these events possible.

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EDA Board Members

Tracy Allison Gary, WV
Robert Beavers War, WV
Carl Bell Welch, WV
Mike Capparelli Northfork, WV
James DeShazio Welch, WV
Joe Ford Iaeger, WV
Kenneth Gentry Davy, WV
Adam Gianato Kimball, WV
Barry Hale Premier, WV
Brian Harrison Bradshaw, WV
Harold McBride Welch, WV
Carol Sizemore Northfork, WV