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Club to host 20th annual children’s fishing derby

By Staff | Apr 16, 2009

Get ready kids, the Cape Coral Kiwanis Club’s annual free fishing derby returns this weekend for another year of angling excitement.
Entering its 20th year, the derby has become a tradition for children and the Kiwanis alike. Local club members hope to inspire the youths with fishing, giving them another option in the future when faced with difficult decisions.
“It gives them some other activity to think about doing,” said Joanne Laumeyer, wife of organizer Wally Laumeyer.
Wally was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but Joanne said, “We’re hoping at least one child wants to keep fishing and stay out of trouble.”
All participating youths will receive a free rod and reel for showing up, and they are allowed to take the equipment home.
The rod and reel, along with a host of other free prizes, are part of the event’s draw for area children.
But with a limited number of available spots — only 375 — Joanne warned that youths who want to participate should show up early. She said a line of eager children starts to form before the 8:30 a.m. start time.
“They don’t have to start camping out at 2 (a.m.), but if they show up between 7:30 and 8, they should have a spot,” Joanne said.
While the rods, reels, prizes and free bait can add up quickly, the Kiwanis use the money raised from its thrift stores to fund its community outreach programs.
Along with the derby, the club hands out several scholarships to college-bound students every year. Joanne said Kiwanis is “investing in the future” by extending a helping hand to young people in the Cape.
Wally has been a Kiwanis member for 15 years, according to Joanne, and has long been the chairman of the derby.
The Kiwanis strongly urges parents to attend, and younger participants should be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, contact the Laumeyers at 772-8678.