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      Gone fishing|for a good cause

      The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization mentors thousands of kids nationwide, and the local organization in Delta County touches the lives of hundreds of kids each year. Last weekend was their annual Jig It ice fishing tournament in Kipling.

      Toby Kuivinen has been a mentor in Delta County for over a decade. He feels anything he can do to support local youth, the better.

      "It's an unbelievable program," explained Kuivinen. "These guys teach me more than I teach them. I've been doing it for probably 15 years. I don't know when it started, but it's been a fantastic program. I've met more people and have had more fun."

      He mentors area teenagers, Chris Jones and Justin Alwood. They say it's been a learning experience.

      "It teaches you a lot about responsibility," said Alwood. "It teaches you a lot about life, what's important about it."

      "I've learned quite a few things that I didn't know and I probably taught him a few things, too, like he said," explained Jones.

      Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bay Area helps over 460 kids across Delta County each year, and they have close to 200 volunteers to participate in their mentoring programs. But in order to be able to provide that support, they need support financially.

      This year's Jig It ice fishing tournament reeled in quite a financial boost. They nearly doubled the amount of people from last year and raised over $8,000.

      The volunteers say it was overwhelming to see such huge support from the local community.

      "We all need help," Kuivinen said. "We all need direction, and that's what I think the whole program is about is direction. You know, we never know where we're going to end up in this world, but it helps you to get somewhere. It's just good fun, good kids and good people. That's what it's all about."