The Richmond Hill Exchange Club held its 22nd annual Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday at the Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery on Highway 144 in Richmond Hill. Registration began at 8 a.m., and fishing started at 8:30 a.m. The derby was open to children ages 15 and under, accompanied by their parents or adult guardian, with awards being presented to children 12 and under.
Over the past 22 years, thousands of children and their families have participated in our derby. We had another great turnout in 2012, with more than 325 children participating, plus an equal number of parents, grandparents and other adults attending, as well.
Our 2012 fishing derby took place at three fish hatchery ponds that have been stocked with catfish and bream. Most participants brought their own fishing poles and bait, although a good supply of free bait and fishing poles was available at no charge.
Thanks to the Savannah Coca Cola Bottling Company for the use of their Coke Wagon, as well as a generous supply of Coke products, and to Georgia Department of Natural Resources for providing hot dogs. The DNR staff and Exchange Club members cooked and served hot dogs for the participants and their families. There is never any charge for anyone participating in this event.
Trophies for the largest single fish, and most total pounds of fish were awarded immediately following the derby for two age groups — ages 6 and under and ages 7-12. A $50 gift card was also awarded to the child who caught the most total pounds of fish — Quenton Lavant of Richmond Hill with 16.05 pounds of fish.
Special thanks to Bryan Bank & Trust for providing the monetary award every year for the past 22 years. Several door prizes were provided by The Richmond Hill Exchange Club, also. Special thanks to the many Exchange Club members who have helped make this event a success over the years and also to the staff members from the local DNR offices and fish hatchery, without whose hard work and great facilities our event would not be possible.
This year, a special prize is being awarded to the winners and their families. Vance Askew with Waterways Township is pleased to invite these families for four hours of championship bass fishing in a Bill Dance Signature Lake at Waterways Township. Details will be provided to the winners following the derby. Also, thanks to Waterfront Church of Richmond Hill and Pastor Adam Ricker for being on hand to provide popcorn for the kids.
The Exchange Club will host its 23rd annual Kids Fishing Derby next year on June 1. We hope everyone will mark their calendars and plan to come out for a day of fun family-oriented activities.
For lots of pictures and other information on our 2012 derby, please visit: www.rhxc.org/fishing.htm.
— Lynn Bennett, derby chairman,
Exchange Club of Richmond Hill