Students with special needs get a day to fish

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GORDON, Ala (WTVY) -- For Joe Phillips, opening up his pond so hundreds of kids with special needs can catch catfish is something close to his heart.

His granddaughter, Tiffany was born with Cerebral Palsy and passed away in 2002, and her memory lives on with the Fishing with Angels event.

Its taken place every year at his pond for the past 21 years.

Phillips tells us, "They're just angels, and we wanted to recognize them, and get em' exposed more, because you don't see them out very much."

Kids from across Houston County, as well as parts of Henry and Dale County were there, it's a can't-miss event.

Retired educator, Margret Valenza said, "We've been doing this 20 plus years, and it's become a tradition that the children look forward to, and back at school they ask, "when's fishing day?"

As many of the teachers said, fishing with angels gives the kids a chance to feel normal for a day as they get to spend it with hundreds like them.

Aliya Walker is one of those students, coming from Abbeville High School, says, "I like just about this day, is having fun and getting all the teachers and students out together. I just like that."

Adam Caroll of Northview High School told us, "You know, we just come out here and enjoy ourselves, you know? That's the one thing that we all do..."

With many of the teachers and the students being the benefactors of one man's generosity.

If you would like to donate to "Fishing with Angels" you can find a link to their page here: http://fishingwithangels.com/tiffany/