Annual Lake Kagawong Small Mouth Bass Derby raises funds Starlight Foundation

Trudy Rudolph, the Starlight Children’s Foundation representative, presented Kagawong Small Mouth Bass Derby organizer Linda Taylor with a plaque and a travel bag to mark her 20th year of organizing the event. photo by Betty Bardswich

by Betty Bardswich

PROVIDENCE BAY – The 26th annual Lake Kagawong Small Mouth Bass Derby took place August 8 with the awards and fish dinner held at the Providence Bay Hall the next day. Fifty-two teams participated in the derby that Linda Taylor of Spring Bay, the president of the Spring Bay Fish Club, has organized for the last 20 years. The derby was started by Herbie Colette, Bud Weadick and Lewis Hartley in memory of Steven Shank Vincent who liked nothing better than to go fishing. All proceeds from the event go to the Starlight Children’s Foundation for the Manitoulin Island area. This charitable organization works with children who are seriously ill. Ms. Taylor and her daughter, Diana St. Pierre of Espanola, are the go-to wish granters for the organization for the Island.

Those entered in the derby had a total weight of six fish caught recorded. The winners of the Steven Shank Vincent memorial trophy were Brad Lieveille and John Kada with a total weight of 18.96 pounds. Mike Sprock and Ken Still came in second with a combined fish weight of 18.75 pounds and Peter McAllister and Charles Harper with a weight of 18.14 pounds.

The Bob Haskett trophy for the largest fish other than bass caught by a male angler was won by Arthur Breathart with a 2.77 pound pike and the female winner of the Barb Weadick trophy was Cheryl Breathart with a .68 of a pound perch. Ms. Breathart also won the John Wright memorial trophy for the largest perch while the Joshua Montgomery trophy went to Peter Terp for the largest bass that weighed in at 4.69 pounds.

The Nora Weadick memorial trophy for the closest to the mystery weight of 11.77 pounds was won by Lee Chatwell and Marlene Burns with a weight of 10.03 pounds. It is noteworthy that those who received monetary awards along with their trophies gave the money back to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Trudy Rudoplh of Richmond Hill came to the Island once again, along with her husband Brad. Ms. Rudolph is a Starlight Children’s Foundation representative and she told those in attendance that it was wonderful to be back on the Island and thanked all those who entered the derby as well as the people who pitched in to make the event a success from the dockmaster, those who gave prizes, the Islanders for the great music, to the ticket sellers, the cooks and Rollanda Tovey who sold tickets for a quilt draw. The blocks for the beautiful quilt were made by Irene Tilson and Ms. Taylor sewed the pieces together.

Ms. Rudolph also gave heartfelt thanks to Ms. Taylor for all the work she does for the Starlight Foundation and presented her with a plaque and a gift basket to note the 20th anniversary of her involvement with the derby.

Ms. Rudolph also talked about the work of the Starlight Foundation and noted that the organization grants 50 wishes each year and also is with the family for the whole medical journey with a presence in 130 hospitals across Canada. “There are 200,000 children touched by Starlight each year,’’ she said. “Doctors and nurses take care of the physical side and we try to let kids be kids. We focus on events that bring families together.” Ms. Rudolph also talked about others who had connected with kids including the EMTs from Dauphin, Manitoba who asked for help for sick children and received stuffed animals from Starlight as well as Ollie the Clown who connects with children at a London hospital. Ms. Rudolph also talked about huge treasure chests that are filled with items for children who are nervous and anxious to help make a hospital a little less scary.

Ms. Rudolph shared the story of a particular young girl who had benefited from the foundation’s help. Eloise was diagnosed with leukemia and spent 40 days in the hospital and received chemotherapy and drugs. She lost her hair and her sense of taste. The young girl will receive her final treatment in January of 2016 and the organization will then take Eloise, her parents and her brother and sister to Discovery Cove in Florida and then on to Disneyland to meet the youngster’s favourite princess. “Starlight reminds kids of the joys of childhood,” Ms. Rudolph said. “You help these kids to just be kids.”

There was a surprise presentation made at the derby awards dinner. Committee members for Ride Manitoulin Motorcycle Rally including Keith McKeen, Brian Mitchell, Lydia Burlein, Roger and Cindy Vilasarsin and Bill Blackwood presented Ms. Rudolph with a check for Starlight for $4,504.84 which was raised at the bike event.

The day after the fish derby awards event, Ms. Rudolph and Ms. Taylor journeyed to Sudbury to oversee the installation of an entertainment unit at Health Sciences North (HSN) on behalf of the Kagawong fish derby. This mobile item is valued at $7,500 and contains a flat screen television, a Ninetendo Wii and a DVD player and its use is for children in the hospital.

For more information about Starlight on Manitoulin including wish granting for children, contact Ms. Taylor at 706-282-2273.