They came in droves, up to 250 children and their families, from Fort Knox and the surrounding communities in search of fun, fish and family time.
The organizers of the VFW Post 10281 Kids Fishing Derby 25th Anniversary said this year was very special for them as they partnered with Fort Knox Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation for the first time to host the event at Carlson Lake to align Prior to 2022, the Nolin Lake Derby was held except for the last two years when it was canceled due to COVID.
“This is about serving the community, serving Fort Knox,” said Drew Flynn, Chair of the Kids Fishing Derby event for the VFW. “As a military retiree and VFW post member, I thought it would be better suited to serving people on our doorstep.”
Post 10281 members partnered with FMWR to provide loan sticks, advice and support when needed. Along with some semi-professional anglers from the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, the team of volunteers spread out around the 35-acre lake at the Camp Carlson Recreation Area.
Fort Knox outdoor recreation specialist Debbie Clements said the weather weighed in their favor and made the Derby even better.
“We worked together to bring this event together and it turned out to be a great event,” she said. “We had a lot of pre-registered people, and a lot of people came in a day from — like a hundred or so. And the weather was great too.
“It’s literally perfect fishing weather,” she added.
After the derby was over, FMWR staff fed the contestants and the competition officials tallied the results. Winners and contestants alike received double arms of goodies including trophies, rod and reel kits and tackle boxes.
Clements said this won’t be the last derby for her.
“For me, the most fun thing was bringing the two communities together and getting kids outside so they could enjoy the great outdoors,” she said. “We will be working with the VFW next year and hopefully for many more years to come. In fact, we are already planning for next year.”