Hooked On Camp fundraiser: Fishing, cookies and crazy socks


While the fish didn’t really bite until the final hour, anglers at the Hooked On Camp Fishing Derby enjoyed a great day on Lake Broyhill and got some special treats during Camp Blue Skies’ annual fundraiser Sept. 27-28 at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer, NC.

Here are the fishing highlights of the day:

  • Total fish caught: 217

  • Most fish caught by a single team: Keith Wall and Jeremy Diggs, 53

  • Largest Large Mouth Bass: Jake Runkle, 4lbs., 4oz.

  • Largest Blue Gill: Jimmy Warren, 1 lb, 2 oz.

  • Smallest Fish: Jake Runkle, 0.75 oz.

The annual event raised $20,000 to provide financial assistance for campers to bridge the gap between tuition rate and the true cost per camper. This year’s derby will help cover those costs for 25 adults with developmental disabilities.

Camper Carolyn Sampson welcomed fishermen with a smile as bright as the sun when they returned to the dock for the weigh-in. She shared her love of Camp Blue Skies at the awards luncheon. However, Carolyn and her mother Elise really stole the show by providing dessert: A yummy selection of gluten-free cookies from Reason To Bake, the Sampsons’ small-batch bakery in Pisgah Forest, NC.

Tipton’s Bar-B-Que in Wilkesboro donated the barbecue lunch. The 2018 winners’ trophies were handcrafted by Darin White of HAVA Studios.

Anglers received a goodie bag with a lure, Camp Blue Skies swag, and fishing-themed socks from John’s Crazy Socks. John Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome who loves colorful socks, founded the company in 2016 with his father, Mark. And yes, we hope John comes to camp someday as a camper!

Click here for the video highlights, the sponsors and guides.

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