Why Sturgeon Fishing Matters

If you follow me at all,  you had the opportunity to see me go on the adventure of a life time last weekend. Many of you are likely scratching your head, asking yourself, why would Diane willingly go Sturgeon spearing in the freezing cold temps of Wisconsin? I am going to attempt to connect all of the dots here for you! Beginning with clarifying I did not go to spear fish, I went to see this tradition first hand, so that perhaps it could help us feed more kids in Nairobi, Kenya.

As some of you know, this past week I got a front row seat (from my iPhone and computer) watching my friend, Katie Driscoll,  view of history in the making in New York City, when Jamie Brewer OWNED the runway, as a role model for ALL of us! No doubt about it, this was incredible!

It is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. Is this because I think ME will become a model? No, it is because it is one more door open for her, if she does dream of becoming one.  Now, thanks to Katie Driscoll, Carrie Hammer, and Jamie Brewer, ME has a role model on the run way too! 

She is not alone, I also have a role model in Jamie. Every person out there does. As a very dear friend of mine, Mary Wasserman said, "Jamie Brewer did not walk the runway in NYC... She ruled it!!" Amen Mary! Amen! 

She did rule it! And she showed all of us that we all can have that kind of poise and confidence to do the things in the world that matter to us! 

My husband, John, and I had an opportunity to attempt to do just that this past weekend. 

After following along on my friend's adventure to NYC, it was my turn to take an adventure. 

Again, for those who have followed me, you know that along with raising awareness, and asking for acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome, I have been a part of an incredible team feeding children in Nairobi, Kenya. The spouses of International Paper Company, along with the employees, volunteer to go out and collect items from all around the world, which we put on an online auction. $50 feeds a child for a whole year!

This is the eleventh year that we have all been involved in this effort! It started where many great things start, in the kitchen, when a few of the spouses were discussing with each other the plight in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. 

When we started feeding the kids, only 20-30% of the children were attending school in the area we have been feeding. Of that number, only 1-2% of them were girls. Now, eleven years later, 97% of the children are going to school. They initially started going for the food. Now it is so much more. I learned this year that the girls are learning to farm, and sell their farm goods. The school lunch program is no longer air lifted in, it is grown locally. All of this happened because a group of incredible women could not sit on the sidelines and let this continue. I am proud that I have been able to join this group of spouses, now men and women, along with the incredible volunteer employees of IP, who do this outside their busy work schedule. We have made a difference. This is just one small area, and there is so much more work to do and so many more to be fed, but it is a start.

So, what does this have to do with sturgeon "fishing"? 

(It is actually called Sturgeon spearing, but because I was so naive, I called it fishing until the day I saw it first hand. Only then did I really know what I was getting into!)

Last summer, I was talking to some friends of my husband, who live in Wisconsin. We were discussing what Coins 4 Kids is, and why we do it. I was sharing how fun the auction is. Larry, our friend, turned to me and said, "Have I got an auction item for you! But you can only have it, if I get to take you and John first, so you can see what it is like."

Of course, he got my attention. 

He went on to tell us about his adventures in sturgeon spearing, and his offer to donate a guided trip. Knowing that it was a long way away, I enthusiastically said, "I am in!" 

Well, the day of reckoning arrived this past weekend. I was going to have shift gears from watching the glamour of a runway, to the frozen ice of Lake Winnebago! I was all in! 

John and I kissed the kids good bye, and boarded a plane for Chicago! 

From there, we drove to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin to begin our adventure. 

Let me tell you, I did not go out on this ice with out screaming a little! Our friend was very patient with me as I asked questions, and he eased my fears. Sort of. 
I don't think I ever quite got over the fear of that ice, and personally, I think that is probably how it should be. I did just what I heard Jamie Brewer tell all of us to do last week, when she said, "Embrace the fear, and go for it!"

 These wonderful people invited us in to learn about their tradition....
 But they did more than that. They invited us into their hearts as well.

 And welcomed us into their family!
It is an adventure I will never forget. I am going to have fun watching this item on the online auction April 20-25th. My advice to the winner of it, "Embrace the fear, and go for it!" These children, will benefit from you doing just that!

Thank you to the entire Margelofsky gang for your hospitality and for helping us feed many more children in Nairobi, Kenya! You all simply rock!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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