Annual Event Will Raise Funds for Family Fishing Day, Now in Its 10th Year!
It’s truly an event with a purpose. The annual Herculean Fathers Awards has been held every year for the past eight years to help fund the enormously successful Family Fishing Day at Broderick Park.
The impressive list of outstanding honorees includes: Bertram Smith, Moe Badger, Darryl Moses, Lindsey Taylor, Will Jones, Duncan Kirkwood, Anthony McDuffie Gordon, Edreys Wajed, Renato Graham, Daren Doc Thomas, Derrick Norman, Jeff McMillan, London L. Harris, Larry Sitt, Larry Watkins, Charles Everhart, Edwin R. Geter, Mike Darby, Alfred Colston III, Quentin Carr, Paul T. Jarrett, Ronald Evans and Chad Houston .
The Fathers will be celebrated on June 15 at the Schiller Park Community Center from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $55. It is held Father’s Day weekend to encourage and recognize those men who are doing good things in our community, often without praise or acknowledgement.
The Family Fishing Day, now in it’s 10th year, is a free event which will take place on Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24 at Broderick Park. “This year’s Family Fishing Day is very significant because beside being our 10th anniversary, it is crucial that we continue because of the positive impact it has on the youth and families,” said founder and organizer George Jonson. “It’s more important now especially due to the on going violence we are experiencing.We have got to somehow find a way to reach and change the mindset of those young people engaged in violent acts”.
Jonson, who has been fishing since he was 11 or 1 2 years old, acknowledged that “It (fishing)) was one of the ways of keeping us out of trouble over the years as a youngster.” When he became an adult, it was his love for fishing – as well as his love and concern for the youth impacted by violence in the inner city – that led him and his friend, fellow fisherman Sam Smith, to establish Family Fishing Day in the City of Buffalo.
Johnson is president of the community-based Buffalo United Front, which currently spearheads the event, and Smith heads the WNY Anglers Association, “After the first year we went from 20 kids and a few rods to attracting thousands last year and giving away 900 fishing rods that were purchased or donated, thanks to sponsors and companies we solicited to give us the things we needed,” said Johnson. Family fishing Day was also eventually expanded from one day to two. Participants have become more diverse, he added, thanks to Buffalo’s unique and growing immigrant community. And like years before, thousands are expected to participate.
“He cited among the event’s strong volunteer supporters over the years as including members of the police and fire departments, the African American Cultural Center, The F.A.T.H.E.R.S. Group, No More Tears and others – all lending invaluable contributions to the success of the event.
Everything is free to the community. And because Family Fishing Day is not a funded organization, it relies entirely on contributions and donations from businesses, individuals, organizations and elected officials. That’s why the Fathers Herculean Awards dinner is so important.
The community is encouraged to get involved by attending the Awards Banquet and supporting Family Fishing Day thru donations (monetary or other ways i.e. fishing rods and gear). Gifts should be made to the Buffalo United Front Inc., P.O. Box 1306, Buffalo 14215; or to The Buffalo United Front’s headquarters at 291 E. Delavan, Buffalo 14208.