Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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Susan Hallock | Democrat

16-month-old Helene Leahy of Pond Eddy catches a glimpse of her very first fish with the help of her father Frank.

Kids reel in fun at fishing derby

By Susan Hallock

BEAVER BROOK — John Pallis loved his children and his grandchildren and loved to take them outdoors to experience all the wonders that the world of fishing and hunting had to offer.
Pallis passed away a few years ago, but as one of his final wishes, he wanted his love of the great outdoors to continue on with other children. And that is just what the Beaver Brook Rod and Gun Club has done by holding an annual Youth Fishing Derby in John Pallis’ memory.
“John was the treasurer for the Beaver Brook Rod and Gun Club for many years and when he passed, his wish was to have all donations that were made in his memory go towards the enhancement of children’s experiences in the outdoors and that is when the Youth Fishing Derby was created,” said Pallis Youth Fishing Derby Co-Chairman Jim Hanson. “And through many ongoing and new donations in his memory, John’s wish of the fishing derby is now in its third year.”
More than 60 children and their parents gathered around the small pond in Beaver Brook on Saturday, May 9. They were catching fish from crappies to trout just like they were going out of style.
“The kids are having a great time out here and they are catching fish like you would not believe,” said William Hofaker, who is a member of the Beaver Brook Rod and Gun Club. “They get to keep all the fish they catch and we will even clean them for them if they want. The parents are having a great time.
“The club stocked the pond for this event and the way it is going, there may not be too many fish left because the kids are just having a great time catching them,” Hofaker added.
John Pallis’ wife, Phyllis, was also on hand to see the derby and was thrilled with the turnout. She also enjoying watching the kids catch fish.
“John loved the outdoors and he would have our kids out there all the time, but now they are too big for these types of events,” Phyllis Pallis said. “But I know John is looking down here today and seeing all the kids out here today and he is smiling because his wish has come true.
“I know I made all the desserts and salads for the event today and it is very nice to see all these kids out here,” she added.
The Beaver Brook Rod and Gun Club has been able to continue the event each year with many donations, not only from individuals but also from two local sports shops – Barryville Sportsman and Hagermans Sports Shop. Both of those businesses donated prizes for the day’s event.
“The sports shops donated all the prizes here today so that every child receives a prize no matter what and we thank them for their support with this event,” Hanson said. “I know John would be thrilled about the whole thing and the club is very honored to continue such a great event in his name.”