I know many of you are wishing for Spring to arrive now that the Christmas and New Years celebrations have come and gone. I can agree with that, but we still have one more winter event to put behind us. It’s hard to believe this year marks our 52nd Annual Chain O’ Lakes Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival on February 11th & 12th.
Our 52nd Derby could not possibly happen if it weren’t for many of our N.I.C.C. members who volunteer their time and energy to make this a successful fundraiser. Preparations for ticket sponsors begin well before Halloween, when members contact businesses who are truly generous enough to underwrite the cost of running the derby. Then it’s time to solicit local businesses to place an ad in our information booklet or donate an item for our auction.
Committees are formed for auctions, kids and adult games, fish judging, raffles, ticket and food sales. Back by popular demand is our Shanty Contest! When auction items are collected, they go to the auction chairperson who places them in the right category. The committee chairs are hard at work in the fall.
A few days before the derby, the announcers trailer is brought from the club grounds by volunteers to headquarters at Thirsty Turtle on Channel Lake. Then the big top tent arrives. The energy starts to sore and you surely know, “it is that time of year again.”
If you have never joined us, please do so. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the good old-fashioned winter fun. There will be raffles and games for the children and adults both days. Weather permitting, there will be Chicken Poop Bingo on Sunday afternoon. This year fish judging and food will be inside the tent. Come watch the fishermen register their catch of the hour hoping to win a prize for the smallest or the largest fish. When you get hungry there’s plenty of good food at the Conservation Café. Don’t forget our children’s auction held on Sunday, February 12th at 3:00 pm. The adult auction is next followed by the main raffle.
In a few days you will be receiving raffle tickets. These tickets are selling for $3 a piece or 2 for $5. Remember, proceeds from this fundraiser helps defray our yearly expenses. Raffle ticket sales are one of the most important parts of the derby and is how we are able to give back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of tickets will go to the scholarship program. If you need additional raffle tickets to sell to your friends, co-workers, relatives or neighbors, please contact us via email or by calling 847-395-6422.