CLARKS SUMMIT – Despite a gloom sky, the Countryside Community Church Annual Fishing Derby had a decent turnout on June 27. About 107 youngsters fished in the pond near Abington Heights Middle School, while parents sat under umbrellas to keep dry from the rain.
“We had a marvelous turnout despite the rainy day,” said Countryside member Ken Molitoris, who volunteered with other church members to keep the event together. “A lot of people came to work and we appreciate every one of them.”
Some of the children, who have been coming for years, returned to enjoy the fishing derby this year. Five-year-old Dakota Sandy from Newton Twp was there for his third time.
“I think it’s great for the kids,” said Dakota’s father Shaun Sandy. “Anytime you can take the kids outside, it’s great.”
Twelve-year-old Tommaso Tamberelli and his 9-year-old brother Matteo Tamberelli, both from Newton Twp., have also participated in the derby for three years.
“It’s really fun,” said Tommaso. “It’s fun to hang out with friends and go fishing.”
Champ, the mascot of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Railriders, also visited the derby to fish with the children.
Hot dogs, made by Countryside Community Church members, and other refreshments were served under a nearby tent. The food was free, but donations were accepted. Church members Becky Howell, Elke Myers and her sister-in-law Donna Myers volunteered to do face painting during the derby.
The derby concluded with the announcements of the winners. The winners were determined by the length of the fish, which they caught during the derby. There was a first, second and third-place prize for four different age categories. Molitoris announced the winners and handed them their trophies.
Winners in the age 0-6 category included Hunter Green (first place) for a 16.5-inch fish, Dakota Paisley (second place) for a 16-inch fish, and McKenna Wilmot (third place) for a 14.5-inch fish. Winners in the age 10-12 category included Pavel Vorozilchak (first place) for an 18-inch fish, Adrian Heffley (second place) for a 17.5-inch fish, and Nicholas Barahona (third place) for a 16-inch fish.
Sponsors of the fishing derby included Eckels Farm, Citizen’s Bank, Scranton Label and Weis Markets.
This was the first time Pastor Mark Terwilliger’s, of Countryside Community Church since last July, experienced the derby.
“It’s a nice opportunity to meet people from the community,” he said. “It’s fun to see the excitement when the kids catch the fish.”