Many Brave Blustery Weather at Billy Beal Derby

Submitted by: Keith Behrmann

Our 24th Billy Beal Derby is now in the history books. I can honestly say, without a shadow of doubt, this event would not be possible without the countless volunteer hours put in by our Valley Lions members, community volunteers, and the generosity of our sponsors.

Having said that, our success is totally dependent on our participants of all ages (2+ to over 80 years), from different regions within our province, as well as those outside our provincial boundaries.

2024 Youngest Fisherman pictured right.

On behalf of the Valley Lions Medical Assistance fund I thank each and everyone of you who stepped up, for your generosity of your time, talent, and treasures.

To say the event was without its challenges would be an understatement, especially where the tent is concerned. Friday, the day the before the event, is the typical day the tent goes up. We had the volunteers, the tent, the corners identified, anchors in place and a 40 by 60 sail unfolded on the ice with winds gust up to 60 KPH. What could possibly happen? I am not sure if it was common sense, fear or combination of both, a decision was made to leave the tent down and anchor it in place and return in the darkness of Saturday morning to put the tent up and hope that the wind had calmed down. Our task started in the darkness before dawn, our vehicles providing lights to see. While the wind was a strong breeze, we did mange to get the tent up just as the equipment was showing up.

Pictured above: Rick Wowchuk Enjoying a Tasty Burger

In spite of the blustery conditions, and from what I observed, the event was a success. Many fishermen braved the cold to the end while others enjoyed the shelter, food, beverages, and comradery in the tent. The final numbers are yet to be tallied. Hole ticket sales were over 440. The $10,000.00 fish, caught by Kevin Frank, weighed in at 14 lbs 2 oz. There were 18 fish caught.

2025 is the 25th anniversary for Billy Beal and Valley lions are going to go all out to make this derby the best one yet. Hope to see you there.