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Press Release



June 12, 2017


Cowley College sponsored fishing team wins Sgt. Jerry Mills Jr. Fishing Derby


Cowley College sponsored fishing team wins Sgt. Jerry Mills Jr. Fishing DerbyFor the second consecutive year, the Cowley College sponsored fishing team took home the top team prize for catching the most fish at the 12th annual Sgt. Jerry Mills Jr. Fishing Derby held June 3 at Veterans Memorial Lake in Arkansas City.

The $5 fee included lunch, fishing gear, t-shirt, and drawings for prizes.

The event is targeted to kids aged 5 to 15 years old.

“The idea is to teach kids a hobby and also have them learn what organization and volunteering is all about,” event co-sponsor Gary Hale said.
Eighty seven individuals took part in the Fishing Derby and a total of 49 children received a free fishing pole and reel, courtesy of the Optimists of Arkansas City.

A record 21 fish were caught at this year’s event. Tackle was provided by Brown’s Bait & Tackle and live bait by Mike’s Bait & Tackle.

This year, fishing teams were sponsored by Cowley College, the Cowley CourierTraveler, the Early Bird Lions Club, the Gift for Gunner Foundation and the Optimists.

An individual trophy was awarded for the biggest fish caught. That too went to a member of the Cowley College sponsored team.

Lunch was donated by Bob Mathews and cooked by the Optimists, while chips, condiments, cookies, drinks, and ice cream treats were donated by Schwan’s.

The Sgt. Jerry Mills Jr. Fishing Derby commemorates the life and service of Mills while also teaching kids to love fishing.

Mills, an Arkansas City native, was killed in 2005 in Iraq. The first fishing derby was in June 2006.

“It is a great community event,” Cowley College team co-captain Matt Stone said. “We want to get the kids hooked on fishing, not drugs.”
James Fry served as a co-captain with Stone.

Next year’s event is scheduled for June 2, 2018.