Even though inclement weather forced cancellation of the Pickerington Youth Fishing Derby on July 22, the rain and storms didn't dampen spirits or deter young anglers who showed up anyway.
Organizers postponed the event until Aug. 5, but about 60 people nonetheless formed a ring around Sycamore Creek Pond and enjoyed the morning by fishing with family and friends July 22.
Pickerington Parks and Recreation Coordinator Greg Pearce said the free event is now scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m. Aug. 5.
Pearce said about 135 youth anglers have registered for the event. Pearce said those who have not already registered will need to call the Pickerington Parks and Recreation at 614-833-2211 to see if they can still sign up.
"We're working with (organizer) Brian Arnold to see if we can take additional registrations," Pearce said.
Prizes will be awarded for most fish caught and the biggest fish caught in four age categories for ages 8 and younger up to age 14.
Although the Aug. 5 date coincides with the Pelotonia bicycling event that rolls through the city and stops at Pickerington High School North on Refugee Road, Pearce said, he does not foresee too much of a problem.
"That will be on the north side of Pickerington so it shouldn't impact our event," he said.
Emily Wright of Pickerington, who just moved to the city from San Diego with her husband Lee and 5-year old son Matthew, said her family was impressed with the Sycamore Creek Pond and the recent physical improvements to the multiuse path that follows the shoreline.
She said the local fishing hole is another Pickerington amenity that brings people closer.
"Pickerington is so drastically different than San Diego in so many wonderful ways," Wright said.
"There is just a wonderful sense of community here. You just don't get this in San Diego," she said as she watched Matthew fish from the shore.
Pearce said the Sycamore Park/Victory Park Shared Use Path is a $500,000 project partly funded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It connects both parks and has opened up Sycamore Creek Pond for increased usage.
"It has really opened up the back lower section of the pond," he said. "It's more accessible now and there is just a great ambiance to the whole pond."
More information can be found at pickerington.net
Fundraiser for Deany
The derby this year also will serve as a fundraiser to help raise money for Deany Bandavanis, a 6-year-old Pickerington boy who is being treated for DIPG cancer, a tumor in his brain stem.
Bandavanis is undergoing clinical trials for immunotherapy and chemotherapy treatments in Mexico.
Family friend Carolyn Hayes has organized a number of fundraisers for Bandavanis' family to help defray the costs of the treatments.
She said it was a natural fit to join forces with the Fishing Derby to raise funds for Bandavanis.
"This year we are adding a lemonade stand as a fundraiser," Hayes said. "The money will go towards (Deany's) medical and travel expenses."
For every fish caught during the derby, Don Shaffer of HER Realtors will donate $1 toward Bandavanis' medical expenses.
George Skestos of Trinity Homes and Steve Lindsay of Lindsay Honda each are donating $1,000 to the cause.