It may be a slimy way to start a weekend, but it's also a chance to help out.
The Bloomingdale-Roselle Rotary Club will sponsor its annual Release the Fish events Saturday morning to stock Lakeview Pond in Bloomingdale and Turner Pond in Roselle. Children and community members can help release roughly 1,000 fish during the simultaneous events.
Fish are brought out in 50-gallon containers, then staff members scoop them into small buckets for children to pour into the lake. Rotary President Rob Ward, who is also director of the Roselle Park District, said some participants simply dump their buckets.
But the others? "Oh, yeah, there are definitely some kids who choose to reach in there and play with the minnows" Ward said.
Combined the events attract about 600 people each year, and those residents help stock more than the lakes. Participants are urged to bring nonperishable food items to help keep the shelves full at the Bloomingdale Township Food Pantry.
The project is one of several fundraisers throughout the year by the Bloomingdale-Roselle Rotary Club to benefit the food pantry, as well as other charities.
"Rotary tries to work on both international and local projects as part of its mission," Ward said. "While our larger mission is to end polio worldwide, we are also allowed to pick a different focus each year. So we try to get involved in several local projects, which in the past year have included events like wrapping presents for needy families and packing food for Kids Against Hunger."
Release the Fish begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Lakeview Pond, 240 Broker Road in Bloomingdale, and Turner Pond, 81 E. Devon Ave., and will last about 30 minutes.