was the place to be on Saturday. At least it was for youngsters who like to fish.
The and McMurray Rotary Club teamed up to present their . The event was open to boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Approximately 60 children were registered for the event prior to the big day, and even more signed up on Saturday. The resulting number of participants was among the highest the event has seen over the years, according to Michelle Harmel, director of Parks and Recreation at the Rec Center.
After they signed in at the greeting desk, each registered child received a welcome package, which included an event-themed water bottle, a $10 Dick's Sporting Goods gift certificate, a certificate for a free haircut at Sports Clips, a frisbee, sidewalk chalk and a snack consisting of a juicebox and Goldfish crackers.
The crackers, Harmel said, “seemed very appropriate.”
Derby participants, along with their parents, grandparents and other companions, set up shop along the banks of the lake. Some kids fished independently, while others had adults help them execute some parts of the sport, such as baiting the hooks.
Since the derby was a contest, the little ones weren’t just casting their lines for sport. They were also hoping to catch a prize. And, the prizes were pretty big—even if all of the fish weren’t.
Prizes were awarded in each of four categories, in addition to a trophy inscribed with the title of the accomplishment. The prize for “Biggest Fish” was a NintendoDS, and an iPod nano was the award for “Smallest Fish.”
Whoever reeled in the “First Fish” also reeled in a RCA portable DVD player. A Sony CyberShot DSC W510 digital camera went home with the winner of the “Most Fish Caught” trophy.
Volunteers from the Rotary Club measured the fish and tallied each kid’s catches.
No matter what they did or didn’t catch, all pre-registered participants received a door prize. Each child was given a ticket and was invited up to the prize table to select an item when her name was announced.
Items on the prize table included toys and school supplies, as well as gift certificates and tickets.
The door prizes and contest prizes were provided by funding mostly through the Rotary Club, and minimally through the nominal registration fee for the event, which was only $5 for Peters residents and $10 for non-residents.
A few regional businesses also contributed to the door prize selection. Froggy Radio donated two sets of passes to the Pittsburgh Zoo. The Iceoplex offered up a free basketball academy voucher. A $10 gift certificate was provided by . And, the Carnegie Science Center gave two pairs of tickets.
Dorothy Schwerha, a member of the Rec Center Board of Directors, helped man the prize table and assisted children in making their selections. About her station, Schwerha commented, “My prize is getting to see the kids have so much fun.”