Main photo: Lake Vernon Fishing Derby founder and co-organizer Barry Groomes (left) and co-organizer Tammie Lupton present a cheque to Betty Smith at the Huntsville Legion (supplied)
A passion for ice fishing led a group of friends to come together and support those in their community.
The second annual Lake Vernon Fishing Derby, held in February, raised funds for the Huntsville Legion to assist veterans.
“We’re just a group of local people doing our part to help out,” said Shelbie Groomes, one of the organizers. “We enjoy ice fishing as a group and being able to come together to do this means a lot to us and having everyone come out to show us their support and trust for whatever cause we choose means a lot.”
Some of the organizers presented Betty Smith, treasurer of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 232, with a cheque for $6,064.25 on June 10.
“We wanted to give back to the veterans and the easiest way to do that is through the Huntsville Legion,” said Groomes. “We doubled what we raised last year, it’s amazing.”
Hunters Bay Radio donated $1,000 to the event.
The funds will be used to assist veterans with purchasing items they need, such as mobility devices.
The Lake Vernon Fishing Derby was started in 2019 to help a family who lost their home in a fire in December 2018.
Bob Lupton and his family were renovating their 100-year-old home to meet insurance requirements, but the fire took place before the work could be completed and the home insured.
“It felt good to put back into our community,” said Groomes. “It also gives people in Huntsville something to do in the winter. There are no ice fishing derbies in Huntsville and there are a lot of people who fish so it gives them an incentive to fish with us.”
Groomes said the organizers will come together each year to choose a local organization or family to raise funds for through the Lake Vernon Fishing Derby. You can follow their Facebook page for updates.
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