Annual Charles Wiles Fishing Derby Held Near New Albany
By Kelly Cole
Mud didn’t slow down those participating in the 17th annual Charlie Wiles Fishing Derby in New Albany on Saturday, May 28. Shouts of triumph and excitement came from the children, as well as their parents, as 117 fish were caught at the Behrend and Wiles ponds. They kept those measuring busy running around the ponds as shouts of “fish” and “I got one” were heard.
When the participants took a break from catching fish, they were able to enjoy free hot dogs and drinks that had been provided by sponsors.
For the past six years, the event has been organized and run by Theresa Berry, Marcia Calaman, Debbie McComb and Suzanne Mahoney of the New Albany Area Children’s Fund. They ran this year’s derby smoothly, while seeming to be everywhere at once.
One of the great parts of the event was the amazing prizes they had for the children. There was such an assortment from bikes, fishing poles, tents and sleeping bags that some of the children were overwhelmed when having to choose. Donations from the following sponsors helped make the prizes possible:
Tom and Janice Behrend, B&K Construction, Chesapeake Energy, Chuck, Formula I, JMB Supply, Knights of Columbus, Leljedal’s True-Value Hardware, Meridien Energy LLC, Mildred VFW #452, Monroeton Rod & Gun Club, New Albany Borough, New Albany Ladies’ VFW Auxiliary, New Albany VFW #384, Peoples State Bank, Shady Nook Restaurant, State Farm, TM Fabrication and Wyoming Casing.
The 48 children who took part were split into two age groups for the derby; the first being four to eight and the second nine to thirteen. Even though all children who fished that day received a prize, there were three main prizes handed out for each group—biggest fish, most caught and for casting—won by the following:
Four-to-eight-year-olds: Taya Fassett (largest with 18”), Chris Hill (caught 23) and Cailin Preno (casting); nine-to-13-year-olds: Harley McIntire (largest with 15-1/2”), Shane Peterson (caught eight) and Jeff Shirk (casting).