Fishing Forges a Friendship

A passion for fishing reels in a new friend.

Ken Waters, a man Bethesda supports in Hillsboro, Oregon, built a special friendship with someone who is as hooked on fishing as he is.

After seeing Ken’s passion for fishing, Lisa Hunnicutt, Direct Support Professional, knew her husband Clinton, an avid outdoorsman, had potential to become great friends with Ken. At the heart of Lisa’s effort to introduce the two men was the hope that this opportunity would help Ken live the best life possible.

The Beginning of a Friendship

Two years ago, Ken and Clinton hit it off after Clinton visited Ken’s group home to meet everyone his wife supports.

Lisa helped Clinton talk with Ken, and a friendship was born. Ken asked Clinton to visit again to help with household tasks and have a fish lunch together.

The two continued to discuss fishing, and before they knew it, their first trip to Horning’s Hideout, a lake near Portland, was planned.new size

Fishing Trips

On their first trip together, Ken caught three fish and returned to the group home with a smile on his face.

“Ken can sometimes be hard to read, but it was clear that after his trip with Clinton he was incredibly happy,” said Heather Kamberg, Program Manager.

The men work together while fishing. Clinton helps Ken put the bait on his hook and cast the line, and Ken finishes the job by reeling in the catch. Clinton wanted to honor Ken’s goals and help him expand his fishing knowledge since it has been a life-long passion for him. Clinton has been able to teach Ken new skills, such as cleaning the fish.

“Not only do they have some things in common, but their friendship brings Clinton utter joy,” Lisa said. “He has a big heart and wants to see Ken happy, healthy and striving on a daily basis, just like me.”

Future Plans

The only thing missing from their first trip was a challenge. Horning’s Hideout is a fully stocked pond, and Ken wants to take on the task of trying somewhere more difficult.

With both men up for a challenge, they planned a fishing outing for August. They are ready to take a five-hour trip to go deep sea fishing followed by dinner at a seafood restaurant.

A Special Bond

A common interest and Lisa’s effort developed a wonderful friendship between these two men.

“Their relationship is a special bond,” Lisa said. “When Clinton comes over for a visit, Ken lights up.”

Fishing was the starting point of their friendship, but Clinton and Ken continue to bond over other interests. Ken loves when Clinton rides his motorcycle over and enjoys spending time outside with Clinton talking about his ride.cropped

Ken wishes he could go for a ride, and Clinton hopes to one day have a side car for Ken to go for a spin. For now, Ken is thrilled to look at the wall in his room and see a framed photo of him next to the motorcycle.

According to Lisa, Ken and Clinton consistently ask about one another. Ken loves when Clinton occasionally brings his dogs over to play, and Clinton has brought fresh fish over for Ken to enjoy. Ken shows his gratefulness for Clinton with phone calls to thank him for what he does.

“Their friendship means a lot to Ken because Clinton is choosing to spend time with him on his own,” Heather said.

Ken and Clinton’s friendship continues to grow as they share experiences together. Their bond shows that with Bethesda’s love and respect for the people we support, you never know where you will meet a friend or what adventures are ahead.

Bethesda volunteers have the opportunity build friendships while helping the people we support fulfill their goals and make choices to live the lives they want. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, click here!

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