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More in Letters
Winter Fest brings families together
To the Editor:
The Friendly Village of Harrison held its annual Winter Fest the weekend of February 26-27 (school vacation week).
The Ice Fishing Derby had a few changes and additions which only encouraged children and the families to join in on the fun. “A Family event focused on the children near and far.” The cooperation and support provided by Maine’s Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Department of ‘Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs’ was again beyond any of the Winter Fest and Ice Fishing Derby coordinators' wildest imagination.
IF&W, along with surrounding local businesses' donations and contributions, set the stage for the second Annual Youth & Family Ice Fishing Family Derby held in Harrison on Long Lake. This year’s Derby added a Sportsmen Show in the Town Office with local Maine Registered Guides, Harrison’s Western Maine Fishing & Game Club, Gene Bahr/Wild Life Artist and Taxidermist, Maine CWP Training/NRA all with booths and displays set up.
Another addition this year was at the conclusion of the derby at the Town Office/Sportsmen Show Center where Derby winners were awarded their prizes, raffle winners received their raffles, and this year for each child under 16 years of age who was present either signed, printed, or made an ‘X’ on their registration ticket which was placed in a free drawing. All children won a prize ranging from fishing rods, ice traps, dip nets, local bait and tackle logo hats and so on.
Being our second year, things did move a bit more smoothly. Ms. Emily Q. Jones, Director of Maine’s Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W), Department of ‘Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs’ now Mrs. Emily Q. McCabe, we don’t know how she did it, but she managed to get married, go on a short honeymoon, and never missed a beat with all the Ice Fishing Derbies around the state of Maine. She is an amazing lady.
We would like to take this opportunity also to congratulate Emily on her marriage to Chris and wish them a wonderful and prosperous life together. E-mails and phone calls between Emily and Joe Jack started going back and forth again this year with successfully accomplishing the Derby Sanction, the Donation of a Youth Life Time Fishing License as the Grand Prize along with some tremendous fishing and outdoor literature for the children and adults as well as information on how fishing is fun for the whole family. The Sanction allows “a person who does not hold a fishing license may assist a child or handicapped person who is participating in a fishing event sanctioned by the department.”
There were 53 registered children for the derby along with 23 registered parents under the Sanction and 32 registered licensed adults. Our best estimate is that 10 to 15 children that would not have had the opportunity to participate in the derby were able to participate because of the Sanction. This is the second year IF&W’s Department of ‘Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs’ has provided the Derby Sanction and it is the second year that children had the opportunity because of the Sanction to fish and compete in the Derby.
In an article released prior to the Harrison Winter Fest/Youth & Family Ice fishing Derby, it explained the work that goes into preparing a quality Children’s event. The work and time spent in preparation for not only the Derby but the entire Winter Fest activities is minimal compared to the overwhelming support and hard work from the Volunteer Core. Below are the volunteers and businesses; these individuals gave up their personal time or made generous contributions to support the 2011 Winter Fest/Youth & Family Ice Fishing Derby and this is one of the major elements that made the event so successful.
The Winter Fest/Youth Ice Fishing Derby Committee apologizes if we have missed anyone in the list below. In our defense, Joe Jack says, “We received so much and so fast it was difficult to know what we had, let alone who gave it to us at times. We did the best we could to keep track and really hope we haven’t missed anyone.”
Monty Hoskins, Mike McLellan, Bob Anderson, Tina Anderson, Jody Bedard, Andrew Doucette, Charles Warner Sr., Charles Warner Jr., Frank Kwiatkowski, Larry Lamb, Art LeFebvre, Arlin Bigelow, Peggy Mills, Bob Downing, Kristie Lowe, Kelly Howard, Jane Patnaude, Brandon Ronfeldt, Courtney Tift, Nate Hill, Faith Paglierani, Angel Paglierani, Stephanie Dyer, Brandon Cook, Mike DiBiase, Dimitri DiBiase, Jess DiBiase, Tracy Card, Jennifer Gosselin, Martha Merrill, Christina Bigelow, Linda Kellough Gazza, Trisha Cook, Katrina Paglierani, Jim Lowe, Lynn Guerin, Dawn Lisowski, Doug Holt, Barry Richardson, Klaudia Gray, Judy Colburn, Sue Searles Gazza, Ron DeBie, Bill Winslow, Darcy Winslow, Jeff Winslow, Colleen Winslow, Henry Hudson, Nancy Hudson, Beth Ugosoli, Sam Cousins and the Harrison Highway Dept. crew, members and friends of the United Parish Congregational Church, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Joe Jack Lake Region Outfitters, Carl Bois Rocky Ridge Guide Service, High View Farm, Northern Heights Farm, Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club, Waterford World’s Fair Assoc., Gene Bahr Fish Carver/Taxidermist/Wildlife Artist, Harrison Western Maine Fish & Game, Paul Mattson CWP Training, A Plus Plumbing, BOTIKA farm, and Bridgton Subway.
Also, Hayes True Value, Brill Lumber, Cabela’s, Caswell House Restaurant, Charlene and Dick Scheiferstein, Dolly Washburn, Bob Seavey Oxford Dunkin Donuts, Emily McCabe of IF&W, Food City, John Wentworth, Lampron’s, Market Basket, Morning Dew Natural Foods, Naples Bait & Tackle, Olde Mill Tavern, QC Services, RG Johnson Sports, Rob Boula, Sharon and Ken Wilson, Sportshaus, The Printery, Tony’s Foodland, Unc’L Lunkers Bait & Tackle, Village Tie Up Market & Deli, Oxford Wal-Mart, Willy C’s Bait & Tackle, Sebago Bait & Tackle and Woodman’s Sporting Goods.
The most important part of the Derby are the children and their families, without them there would be no Derby, and all the preparations and volunteers would be for not. These children work very hard both days, endured the elements, stood over holes, and ran from flag to flag and totally enjoyed every minute of it. The excitement that followed at the Harrison Town Office was phenomenal, there was hardly a place to stand, raffles being called, prizes being handed out and winners being announced.
The Grand Finale was the announcement of Rodney Bean III as the Grand Champion of the Harrison Youth and Family Ice Fishing Derby. Rodney had three First Place finishes; each was accompanied by a First Place Prize. As the Grand Champion he earned through his hard work and determination the Grand Prize, “his new Maine Life Time Fishing License.” Because this was our second year with this Grand Prize it was only fitting that the 2010 Grand Prize winner, Chandler Lowe, was on hand to present the new Champion Rodney Bean his lifetime prize.
The Harrison Winter fest/Youth Ice Fishing Derby Committee is working out a date with Emily McCabe to come to Harrison and formally present Rodney Bean III with his Grand Prize. They will let us know and we will let you know and all are welcome to join in.
Rumor has it that Joe Jack and his behind the scene team have already started on next year’s Derby plan and won’t let anyone know what their plans are, not even Paula. Paula Holt says “I don’t know what he’s up to however I do know it will be special and it will be for the kids."
Keep your eyes peeled next holiday season to see when the Harrison Winter and Youth Family Ice Fishing Derby is scheduled. This is one winter event you won’t want to miss.
We would like to thank all the volunteers, parents and especially the children who participated and look forward to seeing all of you next year.
Harrison Winter Fest/
Youth Ice Fishing Derby Committee