RUTLAND, Mass. — Once the lakes and ponds freeze up, the joy of fishing takes on a whole new life as local anglers throw on their coats and gloves and head out onto the ice. And this February families are invited to come out to Long Pond in Rutland for Dan Kenney's 8th Annual Ice Derby to benefit kids with diabetes at Camp Joslin.
"I love to ice fish," said Kenney, a Leicester resident and the host of Charter TV-3's Go Fish with Dan Kenney.
A seasoned veteran ice fisherman, Kenney explained that there is often a very big misconception out there about the winter sport.
"I've heard a lot of people say 'I would never go ice fishing, why would I go stand on the ice and freeze to death,"' he recalled,
Yet Kenney explained that there is a warmth that comes when people are out there. The camraderie of their buddies, and men, women and childen all out skating, sledding, cooking food on the stove, and gathering around a bonfire on the ice, "it's more of an experience," he said. "it's like a festival atmosphere."
"If you dress properly, just like anything, and you're busy running around hopefully catching fish and the flags are popping and the sun hits the snow and it warms you up and you have a little fire built, I always tell people that I have ice fished a thousand times and I can never recall being freezing," said Kenney.
The ice derby will be held on Feb. 18, on Long Pond in Rutland, and the charity event will help raise money and awareness for diabetic children who attend both the Clara Barton and Camp Joslin facilities each Summer.
Each year, the event raises about $10,000 for families who otherwise would not be able to afford sending their children to Summer Camp in addition to purchasing items such as fishing gear, row boats, canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment for the campers to enjoy while attending camp.
Furthermore, first and second place prizes will be awarded in each category of fish: bass, perch, and pickerel.
Prizes have been donated by sponsors that include: Klem's, Polar Kraft, Okuma Fishing, Yamamoto, Home Depot, Wal-mart, Booyah, Bomber, Yum, D&G Bait/Tackle, Northeast Pizza, Mike’s Donuts, Tractor Supply, LCAC-TV, The TJX Companies Inc. and Rockingham Boat
The event will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Long Pond in Rutland. A minimum $20 donation must be paid, with all proceeds going to benefit Camp Joslin. Children under 12 fish for free.
For more information email Dan Kenney at email@example.com or through his website - gofishdan.com