MANITOWANING – Manitowaning resident Shan Case loved the outdoors so much that during winter she would ice fish right on the lake, not inside a traditional hut which might offer protection from the elements.
Sadly, Ms. Case passed away in the fall, but her memory has been honoured through a generous donation to Assiginack Public School—an ice fishing rod for every student.
“We wanted to do something in Shan’s name,” said husband Brad Ham. Son Brett Ham is a graduate of Assiginack Public School and the family has always been very supportive of the school, their community and the children and youth who call Manitowaning home.
“Shan loved the outdoors and ice fishing,” said Brad Ham. “She also loved this community and wanted to entice the kids to get outside. It snowballed from there.” The family received lots of support from individuals and businesses, including AJ Bus Lines and Eastlink.
Just before the holiday break, Christmas came early at Assiginack Public School when Mr. Ham donated the ice fishing rods to students in a live, outdoor video presentation which was broadcast to classrooms within the school.
“Our students were thrilled,” said Principal Heather Pennie. “We are most grateful to Brad and Brett Ham, their extended family, and all donors who made this happen.”
“This will certainly encourage our students to enjoy the outdoors,” the principal continued. “And, just like Shan Case, they may fall in love with ice fishing and make it part of their healthy, active lifestyle.”
“We participated in regular outdoor family activities and went fishing every chance we had,” Mr. Ham explained. “When Family Day was introduced, Shan had the first fishing derby on Manitowaning Bay. Some 15 people participated, and it got bigger from there. The fishing derby became an annual community event.”
“Shan always said, ‘you kids need to get outside’ and she modelled this with her own son and his friends,” he added. “With this donation, her legacy lives on.”