Bundled up with ice huts in tow, around 160 anglers and fishers set up camp across frozen Ramsey Lake Feb. 15, for the 7th annual Fishing for a Cure in Memory of Noah.
Despite the bitter winter wind, the event attracted more participants than ever before, said co-ordinator Shawn Scott. He expects an even larger charitable donation than the approximate $2,500 raised in 2019.
The annual ice fishing derby was introduced in 2014 in support of Noah Borgogelli, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia six months into his short life. Following his passing in 2018 at the age of four, the event adopted Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC) as its annual beneficiary.
It has become a tradition among families, said Scott, each year getting bigger and better thanks to a supportive Greater Sudbury community.
This year, the event's $40 cost of admission included free bait courtesy of Moxy's Bait and Tackle, an RC Car racetrack set up by Greater Sudbury RC, a barbecue by volunteers of NOFCC, a vintage snow machine show and a warming tent.
But the afternoon's entertainment didn't stop there.
There were two categories -- multi-species and longest perch -- with trophies and prizes for top three contestants, and prizes for the remaining seven.
The rest of the prizes, including a year supply of jerky from Local Jerky Plus, were raffled off to those who had yet to receive a prize.
More than 25 local businesses pitched in to lend a helping hand, said Scott, allowing his team to return prizes purchased at cost and produce an even greater donation to NOFCC.
"It's the people that continuously help and support that make it successful," he said.
It takes about three months to plan the event, but when asked just how many hours that entails, Scott said he doesn't stop to think of that.
Planning the event, contacting sponsors and collecting prizes can be incredibly stressful and tiring, he said, especially since it's a one-man-show. But he said it's well worth it to be a source of positive change in the community.
"I'm proud, I'm happy, my kids love it," he said. "It's nice when they say, 'My daddy helps kids with cancer,' -- that's all I need."
In the future, Scott said his goal is to partner up with other community members to make the most of the annual event. He hopes that will mean even more prizes and more support for the NOFCC in years to come.
Find more information on Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer and how to show your support here.