The weather was ideal, sunny and warm will a cool breeze by the water during the ninth annual Knights of Columbus Children’s Fishing Derby at Winagmi Lake Provincial Park on Saturday, June 10.
Although the conditions were ideal, this year the fishing derby was a somewhat smaller than usual affair.
However, in spite of a number of other events in the region, sixty-nine kids registered for the derby.
A considerable number of family, friends and spectators also turned out for a day by the lake while enjoying the competition, food at the concession stand and of course, to try their luck in the numerous draws, a feature of the derby almost as compelling as the fishing competition itself.
For the last nine years, The Knights of Columbus McLen- nan/High Prairie Council has put on the event with generous contributions from businesses, municipalities and individuals in the region who donated the numerous prizes for both the derby winners and the items available in the draws: kids bikes, power tools, fishing gear, a helicopter ride and a great deal more.
Organizing for this year’s event begin in February and on the day of the Children’s Fishing Derby approximately 20 volunteers were on hand to ensure that everything ran smoothly, from registration, monitoring the competition, running the concession, selling tickets for the draw to presenting the prizes and covering a myriad of other contingencies.
The primary beneficiary from the annual fishing derby event is The Wheelchair Foundation of Canada with some of the proceeds also going to other charitable causes.
Closely affiliated with the Wheelchair Foundation of Canada the Knights of Columbus, not counting this year, have donated over 220 wheelchairs to the foundation, which deals often with the special needs of people in developing countries.
The Knights of Columbus have also been active in disaster struck regions such as Haiti, where, following the massive earthquake in 2010, there were over 125,000 amputations.
To address the needs of Haitian casualties, Knights of Columbus sent send wheelchairs, opened a prosthetics clinic and hired a couple of doctors to administer to patients.
The money raised by such events as the Children’s Fishing Derby along with having an extensive reach in helping people around the world, the K of C has also donated wheelchairs to those in need in this region such as High Prairie, Falher, Girouxville.
The organization is also closely involved with the Special Olympics.
The winners of this year’s fishing derby in the 11 to 17 year old category are:
Most Fish Caught: First place Jesse Sylvain with 16 fish, Gabriel Dusterhoft second with 11 fish and Hunter Laderoute with 5 fish.
The largest pike was caught by Daityn Bilyk at 66cm, second largest was caught by Jordan Sylvain at 65cm, which were the only two legal sized pike caught by the 11 to 17 year-old group.
The winners of the 10 years old and younger category are:
Most Fish Caught: First place went to Callie Calahasen with 4 fish. Keagan Wurban and Alvy Viniegra shared second and third place with 2 fish each.
Meagan Laderoute caught the largest pike at 70.7cm, which was the biggest pike caught at the event in both categories.
Kaelyn Fisher caught the second largest fish at 67cm.