This week’s good neighbors came to town recently for the Kids Fishing Derby at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

This week’s good neighbors came to town recently for the Kids Fishing Derby at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.

They are fondly called the “Boeing People” and some actually do work for the big aircraft company. But some work for URS Corporation and Haley & Aldrich, sub-contractors for Boeing.

For the last two years, the “Boeing People” have come to Neosho with T-shirts for the kids and volunteers. And they are warmly greeted by young and old (most everyone likes a cute T-shirt).

This year, one of the “Boeing people” flew in from Seattle, Wash.; one came from Springfield, Mo.; one from Wichita, Kan.; and two from Kansas City—just to help the kids have a great experience fishing.

Leslie Voss, who is with URS in Kansas City, says the group has a good time. She was very happy with the weather, since last year it was very hot. She says seeing the kids’ smiles is plenty reward for their trouble.

She took many pictures and was eager to get back to work and show them around the office. Leslie also bragged on the hospitality the group received in Neosho.

Rick Horner is a field manager with URS, visits the hatchery often—several times a year. He monitors ground water in the area to assure good quality at the hatchery. Rick likes Neosho so much that he wants to move here, but he has a son who will be a high school senior.

“I tease him and say, ‘Then I’ll just move by myself,’” Rick says.

Mike Spain is actually a Boeing employee from Wichita. Mike even volunteered at the derby this year, doing the nasty job of cleaning fish.

When he was a kid, Mike lived in Neosho and was friends with the hatchery manager’s son.

“I got kicked off the hatchery grounds one time,” Mike laughed. “I was going fishing in the creek with the manager’s son. I came to the hatchery with our fishing gear, nets, poles, and stuff. One of the workers saw me with the gear and chased me off. I put it down outside and walked in to get my friend.”

Another member of the group is Nick Garson, also a Boeing employee. He came a long way from Seattle, Wash., to attend the kids derby. He was very excited about the derby and had fun giving the T-shirts away.

This is the second year that Boeing has been involved with the kids derby. The company provides funding for food, bait, and other things. In addition they show up with T-shirts and make a lot of kids happy.

Bruce Wilkinson, from Haley & Aldrich of Springfield, came to the derby last year and brought his own son. He says the derby is a real favorite for him.

Making kids happy and loving their visits to Neosho is good enough reason to name the “Boeing People” this week’s good neighbors.