Prince Rupert’s Lions Club is hoping to break 2018 Blue Knuckle Derby numbers.
Last year saw a their record-breaking number of boats on the water with a turnout of 450 participants. This year they are hoping to sell 500 tickets.
Rain or shine, this year’s event will be held on Friday, Dec. 27 with weigh-in and prizes held at the Moose Hall from 3 p.m.- 6p.m.
“We hold this on the period between Christmas and New Year’s because it gives people something to do during that break period,” said Jamie Scott, Prince Rupert Lions Club president.
The Derby first began as the Marc Desautels Memorial. People were looking for something to do between the holidays and got together down by the parking lot at Rushbrooke Floats and put in 20 bucks to fish for the day. From there the event grew under the lead of local charters until the late Jeff Carlson took over with the Lions Club.
“We have a core of about five organizers and a dozen volunteers on the day of. It’s our main fundraiser of the year,” Scott said.
Cash prizes will be given out to the top three winners.
The 2018 winners were Ken Seymour, with a 19.65 lb chinook earning him first place, Paul Miller, 15.94lb chinook, and Steve Wessel, earning third place with a 15.29lb chinook. The winners were presented with $1,200, $800 and $500 respectively.
A $1,000 door prize will be given out to anyone with a ticket. Gift certificates, boat seats, spotlights, gloves, socks, cookware, rods and other marine related items, all donated by local businesses, will be handed out as hidden weight and door prizes.
Participants will also have an opportunity to enter a raffle. Last year’s raffle alone raised a total of $2,500, with the derby earning a grand total of $10,000.
All net proceeds of the Derby will be donated to local charities. In 2018, recipients included the Captain Cook Sea Cadets, The Marine Search and Rescue Society, the Salvation Army Food Bank, Oldfield Creek Hatchery and North Coast Community services among others.
“We are so thankful for all the groups, organizations and corporations around town, from the big ones to the small ones, who help out. The support has been growing in terms of the donations. It’s all appreciated and it is an incredible showing from the community,” Scott said.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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