Maywood Trustee Seeks To Connect With Area Youth Through Fishing

Thursday, June 7, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Maywood Trustee Melvin Lightford fishing in 2015. | Dawn Williams-Rone/Facebook 

Melvin Lightford, 71, is a man on a mission and the destination is an area pond. For the last eight years, the Maywood trustee has been taking young people on fishing trips during the summer.

Teach a child to fish and you’ll open him or her up to new vistas of opportunity, Lightford said during a recent interview.

“I’m trying to get kids off the street and keep them from being hurt,” he said. “But also, there are college fishing programs that offer scholarships. So this can be a way for them to stay out of debt, too.”

Yes, fishing scholarships do exist (see here) and Lightford wants to turn kids in the Proviso Township area on to the concept.

As he’s done since he was first elected to his trustee position eight years ago, Lightford is looking for kids, ages 10 to 15, and adult chaperones to accompany him on the fishing trips.

Lightford’s Take Me Fishing Summer Program Series is free and includes lunch (usually fruit, Vienna hot dogs and quarter pounders, the trustee said). Fishing poles will also be provided for kids who don’t access to, and/or can’t afford, them.

The parents or guardians of eligible young people only need to sign waivers, which will be available at Village Hall, 40 Madison St., and the Maywood Park District, 921 S. 9th Ave., in Maywood.

This year, the trips will take place on June 16 (to Busse Lake), July 21 (to Maple Lake) and Aug. 18 (Wampam Lake), with the group scheduled to depart from the Maywood Park District at 7 a.m. and returning at 4:30 p.m. on each day.

For more info on the program, call the Maywood Park District at (708) 344-4740. VFP 

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2 thoughts on “Maywood Trustee Seeks To Connect With Area Youth Through Fishing”

  1. It’s all fine and dandy that Trustee Melvin Lightford is taking children in the village of Maywood fishing to keep them off the streets for the Summer, for opportunity. But…if you really want to keep children off the streets and find the root causes of gun violence, I truly believe that you need to invest in the village of Maywood with activities, small businesses, programs, and etc. so families and children can grow. There shouldn’t be a food desert, vacant lots, boarded homes, in the Maywood.

    The Village of Maywood needs to expect more for themselves and stop accepting the “status quo.” If Maywood accepts the “status quo”…the village is not going to move forward. Think about it Maywood!

  2. I like the initiative this man took some time ago to help kids, here comes the but, but at the town meetings there is always friction regarding these fishing trips. He is always asking for money , free space for storage, the village to put in insurance claims for his stolen fish poles, he will not take donations on used fishing gear, and then he claims he does it on his own. Last time he asked for a $3000 reimbursement. To go fishing all you need is a pole and some bait. To feed these kids it does not take that kind of money. Boxes of burgers and hot dogs are cheap at casco, a break down of these trips need to be presented, just like the Washington trips and the safe summer programs. Much love to all.

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