796 take part in Olathe Kids Fishing Derby

Nearly 800 registered anglers crowded the shoreline at Cedar Lake Park in southwest Olathe for the 32nd Annual Free Olathe Kids Fishing Derby on June 15. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

Nearly 800 registered anglers crowded the shoreline at Cedar Lake Park in southwest Olathe for the 32nd Annual Free Olathe Kids Fishing Derby on June 15. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

When the last fish was pulled out of the water and after all the fishing poles had been secured, 10-year-old Olathe angler, Jenna Morris, had hooked the largest catch of the day, a 26-1/2-inch catfish, at the 32nd Annual Free Olathe Kids Fishing Derby last Saturday, June 15, at Cedar Lake Park in southwest Olathe.

The Derby is for youngsters 3 to 15 years old and seniors 60 and older. Morris’ catch earned her the trophy for the Girls 9-15 Division. She was one of five trophy winners and among the 796 registered anglers that included just more than 44 seniors.

Worms? Who's afraid of worms? Not Jennifer Potter, Oregon Trail eighth-grader, who was a volunteer for the Olathe Kids Fishing Derby. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

Worms? Who’s afraid of worms? Not Jennifer Potter, Oregon Trail eighth-grader, who was a volunteer for the Olathe Kids Fishing Derby. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

Other trophy winners were Sam McKibben in the boys 3-8 Division with a 24-inch catch; Kaitlyn Caldwell in the Girls 3-8 Division with a 20-inch catch; Mario Silias in the Boys 9-15 Division with a 20-inch catch; and James McCarson in the Seniors Division with a 17-inch catch.

“It was a great day, a great turnout and a great Derby,” Joe Pruett, 2013 Derby Board President, said. “Last year we had a total of around 650 participants. We would have had around 900 this year if all the pre-registered folks had shown up.

“But I thought everything went well; we had a great group of people that worked hard to make the Derby a success and an outstanding list of sponsors that provided everything from money to merchandise to give away as prizes. The Olathe Kids Fishing Derby truly is a community sponsored event and that’s why it has been so successful for 32 years.

“And a special thanks to the Olathe Bass Pro store, which supplied all the bottled water plus numerous fish hooks and door prizes.”

Anglers began arriving well ahead of the 7:30 registration start time to claim their fishing spot.

Jenna Morris, 10, Olathe, along with her 26-1/2-inch catch and her dad Mike and 2-year-old brother Mason. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

Jenna Morris, 10, Olathe, along with her 26-1/2-inch catch and her dad Mike and 2-year-old brother Mason. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

While supplies lasted, goodie bags filled with hooks, sinkers, bobbers, a T-Shirt and other fishing related items were given to anglers as they registered. They also were provided a cup of free fishing worms. Fish caught between 9 and 11 a.m. were eligible for official measuring.

A free hotdog lunch with chips (provided by Olathe HyVee) and a bottle of water (provided by Olathe Bass Pro) for the entire family was provided starting at 11. Also providing food were Applebee’s, Noodles & Company, and Perkins. Starbucks from 151st Street and Black Bob provided coffee.

Each registered angler was provided a number and if their number was randomly drawn they won a prize. Prizes included tackle boxes, gift certificates, gift cards, fishing poles with reels, and hats among other items.

“It is really wonderful to see a dad or a mom or a grandparent bring their child here to fish for the first time,” incoming board president Stacy Casidy

said. “We see a lot of folks here who make this a family event. And it’s really satisfying to see the faces of these kids when they catch their first

Lane Pruett, 9, Olathe, proudly holds up his catch. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

Lane Pruett, 9, Olathe, proudly holds up his catch. Photo by Chuck Kurtz

fish; it doesn’t matter how big it is to them, they have to get their picture taken.

“I didn’t hear one complaint this year and I can only echo what Joe has said in that we have some good people working to put this on and we have outstanding community support for this event.”

Pruett said the Derby Board will meet later this month to debrief about this year’s event and discuss ways it can be improved for next year.

“We always want to make it better,” he said. “We always want it to be there for the kids.”

Derby sponsors and volunteers:

Presented by:
Olathe Community Sportsman’s Club
City of Olathe
Optimist International
Olathe Clockwinders, Noon and Evening clubs

Derby Premium Sponsors:
AKKA Karate USA
Olathe Clockwinders Optimist Club
HyVee
Olathe Bass Pro
Olathe Dick’s Sporting Goods
Olathe Sir Speedy
Tim’s Tire Center
Applebee’s
Olathe Perkins
Olathe Noodles & Company
Johnson’s County Gazette
ViewFromTheMidwest.com
OlatheEdge.com
Bullet Weights

Derby Major Sponsors:
Accupuncture Center
Laser Tag
Alexander and Townsend
American Legion Earl Collier Post #153
Bank Midwest
Bank of the Prairie
Don’s Body Shop, Inc.
Jenkins and LeBlanc Dentistry for Children
Ludwikoski and Associates Inc.
Minnesota Bait and Fly Inc.
Olathe Bass Club
Olathe Community Sportsman’s Club
Olathe Evening Optimist Club
Olathe Medical Center Executive Office
Olathe Noon Optimist Club
Penwell-Gabel Olathe Chapel
Ron & Mary Freund
S-K Mechanic
Sign Here Inc. – David & Kim Fesenmeyer
Smethers Auto
Starbucks, 151st & Black Bob
State Farm, Debbie Swinney
State Farm, Harlan Parker
The Kansas City Star
Tractor Supply Co.
Wal-Mart, West Olathe
Zebco

Other Sponsors:
Costco
QuikTrip
Rippnfish, Branson, Mo.
The Olathe News
Warren Hannon Jeweler
Zonkers

Volunteers:
Cops & Bobbers
Earl Collier American Legion Post #153
Masonic Lodge #19
Olathe Student Development/Youth Court
Olathe Bass Club
Kickback Junior Bass Club
Kansas National Guard
Olathe Fire Department
Olathe Police Department

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