Rogersville Man's 'Fish Tales' Help Children with Special Needs

ROGERSVILLE, Mo. -- J.P. Sell has a passion for the outdoors.

He loves to bass fish, but more than anything he loves to help others. That's what he's doing out on the water.

"It's one thing when we wake up and say, 'Hey, let's go fishing.' It's another when a child with special needs wants to go fishing, but really don't have that opportunity.

So J.P. worked to give them that opportunity to fish -- to grant a wish -- for special people. He started "Fish Tales" so that children with special needs have a chance to throw a reel.

He purchased a boat and had help equipping it, so regardless of physical obstacles, children could go out on the water and catch a fish.

"The one thing about these children with Fish Tales, they can do everything. We can do everything. We can, in their minds and stuff, it's just their bodies that can't and people call, say special needs -- I say look at them as special."

Ten-year-old Courtney Bonner is one of those special people. She was the first to take the Fish Tales boat out on the water. With the help of J.P. and this boat, Courtney caught her first fish.

J.P. and his buddies with the Rogersville Strutters take children like Courtney hunting and on adventures that otherwise would be difficult for their families to do alone.

"The whole group up there, I mean the Strutters, they just surround Courtney with so much love and caring. It's just been a real blessing."

J.P. has his own support group: his wife of 17 years and their beautiful children.

"He's always been a kind-hearted, helpful to everybody, and always has a smile on his face," says Jennifer Sell. "I'm just proud of the person I think he's become over the years."

It's not just Fish Tales. J.P. is always giving back to the community. He almost lost his life in a work related incident. He spent his time in recovery, working on his Fish Tales -- an experience that will forever impact the children's lives he's touched.

"I decided to take the time that I couldn't work and work this in and work with my dad and my dad passed a bit after we started working on this, and it was a trying time but with the good Lord and everything, I'm good. I'm good."

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