My Fishing Pond Inc. Receives help from Mitchell Farm Credit Services of America employees

by Bridgewater Tribune

Thursday, November 29, 2013


THANK YOU FARM CREDIT SERVICES OF AMERICA! Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) employees in the Mitchell office spent a day in Bridgewater at My Fishing Pond, helping president/curator John Alvarez clean and assisting in building the framework for the Pond's minnow house.  After volunteering with John, the local employees also presented My Fishing Pond with a $1,085 donation, as seen in the photo above.

Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) employees in the Mitchell office spent a day in Bridgewater at My Fishing Pond, helping president/curator John Alvarez clean and assisting in building the framework for the Pond's minnow house.  After volunteering with John, the local employees also presented My Fishing Pond with a $1085 donation.

My Fishing Pond, Inc. is a tiny man-made pond outside of Bridgewater, S.D. that has brought joy to children and adults with special needs since 2002.  It was incorporated by John Alvarez-who has a brain injury disability of his own to provide a recreational therapy outlet for children with special needs, injury survivors, at-risk youth, and residents of care centers and their families.

Mr. Alvarez, president/curator, keeps the Pond in operation through fundraising by visiting businesses for donations and selling raffle tickets.

"When I read an article in the newspaper about My Fishing Pond, I was very inspired by his legacy," said Shelia Hill, insurance account specialist, FCSAmerican has a volunteering program, so we decided to use our volunteer hours toward helping out with My Fishing Pond."

To help clean up My Fishing Pond, Inc, as part of the FCSAmerica's volunteer program, the Mitchell office employees mowed, pulled weeds, wacked weeds, picked up trash, and started the framework for a minnow house.  After a day's work, employees even had a chance to try and catch a big one.

The Pond is stocked with bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, and trout.  It hosts special needs groups from Mitchell, Sioux Falls, and surrounding areas.  It is open to all generations and is a catch-and-release type fishing program, built for special needs and recreational therapy.  Alvarez captures memories with his camera and posts them on his website www.myfishingpond.com, as the theme for My Fishing Pond is: "Where a small pond brings big smiles."

Due to Mr. Alvarez's diability, he has a restricted driver's licence for his ATV only.  The Team Up donation with go toward a new ATV that he can use for transportation when going to catch minnows, selling raffle tickets, and working around the Pond.  His disability causes him to tire easily, so the ATV is vital to enabling upkeep of the Pond.

About Farm Credit Services of America: Farm Credit Services of America is proud to finance the growth of rural America, including young and beginning producers.  With more than $18 billion in assets, FCSAmerica is one of the region's leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.  Learn more at www.fcsamerica.com.


FCSAmerica VOLUNTEER PROGRAM:  FCSAmerica has a volunteering program so they decided to use their volunteer hours toward helping out with My Fishing Pond near Bridgewater.  To help clean up My Fishing Pond, Inc, the Mitchell office employees mowed, pulled weeds, wacked weeds, picked up trash, and started the framework for a minnow house.  After a day's work empllyees even had the chance to try and catch a big one.