WADDINGTON — Every fundraiser that Have A Heart Charity sponsors is a success before it even starts.
“We’re just a bunch of friends doing stuff like this,” the charity’s director, Cory P. Dihrberg, said. “We’re doing things we like to do.”
On Saturday, the group of friends was hosting its second annual Have A Heart Charity Kids Fishing Derby at Whitaker Park.
The group, formed in 2014, raises between $5,000 and $10,000 a year with events including the fishing derby and motorcycle rides.
The money raised goes to a variety of causes. The group provides blankets for babies at the hospital at Christmas time, donates Thanksgiving dinners and helps people struggling with cancer.
Each of the group’s 12 members do the things they love to do to raise money, Mr. Dihrberg said.
Don Smithers and his wife Helen Smithers were running the fishing derby Saturday.
“We try not to make it like a job,” Mr. Smithers said. “We enjoy doing this. We have fun.”
While Mr. and Mrs. Smithers bustled about setting up donated auction items, kids games and a leaders board, Keianna Webb, 10, and Abbie Belmore, 11, both of Waddington, were the first to sign up for the tournament.
Miss Webb and Miss Belmore quickly took to the banks of the St. Lawrence River to begin their day of fishing and then spent a considerable amount of time getting a line free from a tree, filling a bucket with water to keep fish that had yet to be caught and making several trips back and forth to Miss Webb’s mother, Bonnie Taylor.
“I told them, I don’t do worms and I don’t do fish,” Ms. Taylor said from the back door of the Waddington Rescue Squad Auxiliary’s concession trailer. “They’re on their own with that.”
The concession stand was fully stocked and ready to handle the lunch needs of young anglers.
Ms. Taylor said the trailer, which is a major fundraiser for the auxiliary, would be back in a few weeks for Dragon Boat races at the park.
The fishing derby earned the support of 33 local businesses as sponsors.
At the end of the day, Noah Martin, 9, came in first place with a 7.5-inch perch. His sister, Kate Martin, 11, also caught a 7.5-inch perch and came in second place because Noah caught his first. Tanor Harvey, 15, came in third place with a 7-inch blue gill. Liam Fonda won a sportsmanship award.