Over 100 fishing rods given to children in honor of fishing enthusiast who died of leukemia
There may be many more young people ice fishing in Manitowaning Bay on Manitoulin Island this year, after a special donation of fishing rods was made to their school.
The donation of 109 ice fishing rods was organized by Brad Ham, a Manitowaning resident, in honor of his wife, Shan Case, who died of acute leukemia in September.
âShe just loved being outside, especially fishing and really enjoyed ice fishing in the winter months,â he said.
âI decided that ice fishing was the theme, whether it was sponsoring some kind of ice fishing tournament or something. So I decided to select the students from the city in which we live here and give them all the ice fishing rods in the hope that it would inspire them to go out and enjoy the winter months. “
With the help of his family, friends, and some local businesses, he was able to raise enough money to buy the rods and reels – enough for every student at Assiginack Public School.
Just before the holidays, Ham donated the ice fishing rods to the students in an outdoor live video presentation, which was shown in the school classrooms.
âOur students were thrilled,â said principal Heather Pennie. “We are very grateful to Brad and [son] Brett Ham, their extended family and all the donors who made this possible. It will certainly encourage our students to enjoy the outdoors. And, just like Shan Case, they can fall in love with ice fishing and make it part of their healthy, active lifestyle. “
Ham says outdoor activities like fishing were something their families loved to do. And Shan wanted to share this love for fishing.
“When family day was [first] introduced, Shan hosted the first fishing tournament in Manitowaning Bay. About fifteen people participated, and from there, it grew. The fishing tournament has become an annual community event, âhe said.
âShan has always said, ‘Kids, you have to go out,’ and she modeled that with her own son and friends. With this gift, her legacy lives on.â