The Macey’s Spanish Fork team recently helped with the annual Kids Fishing Day, an event that has brought joy to children with special needs for over 30 years.  

Macey’s donated 1,600 box lunches for the event. The delicatessen team hand-made turkey and ham sandwiches from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. Once the sandwiches were ready, the team set up an assembly line to pack the lunches. It took them about 8 hours to assemble everything.  

There were generous donations from several vendors: Double L provided all lunch meat, Frito Lay supplied the chips, Little Debbie contributed the cookies, and Pepsi donated and delivered the bottled water.  

Kids Fishing Day began over three decades ago thanks to the efforts of two brothers, Mike and Kevin Pritchett, who were asked by the forest service to promote new ADA bathrooms at Payson Lakes. That first event had 16 children with special needs. The joy of that day inspired the Pritchetts to continue the tradition, which has grown significantly over the years, eventually moving to Salem Pond to accommodate the increasing number of participants. 

Rebecca Donahue, one of the event organizers, shared the touching story of her husband Kevin Donahue’s involvement. For over 20 years, Kevin dedicated himself to this project, driven by the joy of seeing the children experience the thrill of fishing, often for the first time. Following Kevin’s passing in December 2023, Rebecca took over to ensure his legacy and the continuation of the event. 

Macey’s has proudly supported Kids Fishing Day since the early 2000s. Initially, Mark Levingston began contributing when he was the Store Director at Albertson’s in Spanish Fork. After Associated Food Stores acquired Albertson’s in 2009, Mark continued his involvement until 2018. Then, Bill Summers and his team at Macey’s Spanish Fork took over, maintaining the tradition with enthusiasm and dedication. 

This year’s event had the largest turnout yet, with approximately 1,600 children from various school districts participating. Many parents, teachers and helpers also participate.  

Jessica Atchinson, assistant store irector at Macey’s Spanish Fork, shared, “At Macey’s, we believe in fostering strong community relationships. Contributing to Kids Fishing Day aligns with our core values, inspired by Ken Macey’s teachings about the importance of giving back. We are committed to continuing our support for this event, helping to create memorable experiences for special needs children and their families. Our involvement not only enriches the lives of these children but also strengthens our community bonds, setting us apart from our competitors.”