The Family Fishing Derby has grown from a small get-together to a family event attracting people from Cranbrook

The Family Fishing Derby has grown from a small get-together to a family event attracting people from Cranbrook

Family Fishing Derby coming on Family Day weekend

Monday, February 9 at Horseshoe Lake; fun for the whole family

The annual Family Fishing Derby at Horseshoe Lake has grown a great deal in the past five years, so much so that organization of the event has been passed over to  JCI Kootenay (Junior Chamber International).

JCI member and 2015 Family Fishing Derby Event Chair Mike Matejka explains: “JCI Kootenay is always looking for ways to make a difference in our community and when we heard the Fishing Derby needed help we jumped at the opportunity. The past organizers created something truly amazing and we want to do our best to continue that legacy.”

“Over the years, this event has grown and evolved, so after five years it is being passed to JCI,” said Jenny Byford, who is helping with organization. “It began at a grassroots level with one Cranbrook family who were touched by cancer and wanted to make a difference. But it’s grown so big that it can’t continue to be organized as it was, so it was passed to JCI. But it will continue to be a family event, focused on fund raising to support families with children with cancer.”

Proceeds are distributed by the Canadian Cancer Society to help families with financial support, travelling to treatment, accommodation, wigs, cancer information and peer support.

Thanks to the generous support of local businesses, the Derby also helps local children facing cancer enjoy a much deserved vacation from treatment. Dacota Freight sponsors a Disneyland vacation and Sunshine Houseboats sponsors a houseboat vacation on Lake Koocanusa. Children facing cancer from all across the Kootenay region will be entered into a draw for these two trips. To ensure your family is entered, please contact the event organizers.

Dubbed ‘uniquely ‘Kootenay’, by organizers, this event keeps the whole family entertained with ice fishing, tobogganing, hockey, and plenty of kids’ games including snow painting, tug-o-war and ice jug bowling. There are also contests for Best Dressed Dog and Best Dressed Toboggan, as well as door prizes, a 50/50 draw and silent auction. In past years over 1800 people have participated for top prizes valued at $2,000 and to show their support for local families in need.

In past years, there have been some occasions when warm January weather created unsafe ice conditions, but Byford says that isn’t a problem this year.

“There is plenty of ice on Horseshoe Lake this year, but we do constantly monitor to make sure it will be safe,” she said.

JCI Kootenay is a young service group committed to creating positive change through leadership, social responsibility, fellowship and entrepreneurship. JCI is known in the community for known for organizing key community events including Leadercast, Cranbrook’s Santa Claus Parade, Balls of Steele Bocce Tournament and municipal, provincial and federal All Candidates Election Forums.

Tickets for the Family Fishing Derby are available in Kimberley at Overwaitea Foods, Sun Life Financial, and Home Hardware in the Platzl or online at https://eastkootenay.snapd.com. Tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Everyone needs a ticket to participate in the event. We hope to see you Family Day at Horseshoe Lake!