Can-do kid


Kate Pancero


4 questions

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A farmer. I just like animals … and agriculture.

Favorite food
Steak and fish.

The coolest part about fishing
Being out on the water and relaxing. I like watching the sunset on the lake.

Who inspires you and why?
My Dad, Howard, because he does cool things with me. I just really like being with him and doing stuff with him.

Max Zavell had no idea a trip to the ophthalmologist would lead him to become the youngest Kids All-American Fishing Team ambassador. While waiting for his turn to see the doctor, the 9-year-old flipped through a magazine and found an article about the contest. Since he had been fishing since he was 2, he decided to give it a shot.

The Kids All-American Fishing Team Scholarship and Ambassador Program chose Max and five other ambassadors for their love of fishing and the examples they set in their communities. Some of Max’s activities include raising money for the American Heart Association through the Jump for Heart jump-a-thon and donating stuffed animals to children who were victims of Hurricane Katrina. Max has also been involved in various activities and fundraisers through the Boy Scouts of America.

The only Illinois resident to become an ambassador, Max was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, an official pro-angler style team shirt and best of all, "you get a big trophy," he says. The Highland Park resident was recognized in a ceremony at Wal-Mart.

To enter the contest, the kids wrote essays about their favorite fishing trip. Max’s essay documented a five-hour fishing trip off the shore of Door County, Wis., with his Dad and Grandpa. Max, 7 at the time, caught the first fish of the day, a 7-pound brown trout. His favorite part: "I liked seeing the sun go down on the horizon, and I loved fishing in deep water and catching a really big fish!"

In August, Max will join the five other ambassadors in Tulsa, Okla., for the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Challenge. He will be paired up with a professional bass fishing touring angler to compete in fishing challenges.

Max’s favorite catch? "I would say Chinook and Steelhead, it’s like a rainbow trout, but bigger," Max says. "It’s just that you have to really reel them in because they are really heavy."

Lately, Max has taken a liking to fly fishing. "You have a really big rod, stand in the river and the fish go between your feet," said Max, who recently received a fly fishing rod for his birthday.

And in case you are wondering, no matter how much his friends dare him, Max will never eat a worm.


Do you know a great kid age 14 and under who’s done something amazing? E-mail names and information to [email protected].



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