‘An amazing community’ – Around 180 anglers hit the ice for Fishing for a Cure

Published 8:11 am Monday, February 5, 2018

About 180 anglers gathered at East Side Lake on Saturday to throw a line in the water, and to strengthen a lifeline to those with cancer.

“We all know someone” who has had cancer, or is struggling with the disease, said Glenn Newman, a lead organizer of “Fishing For the Cure,” one of the Paint the Town Pink events. This is just one more way, he said, to support cancer research.

Anglers packed together on East Side Lake Saturday afternoon for the annual Fishing for a Cure. Photos by Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Newman and fellow anglers – some with talent, others with just good intentions — gathered at the Eagles Club following the two-hour ice fishing contest.

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Newman, who helped to coordinate the event with his wife Babs, and friends, said this marked the 10th annual event in which proceeds are donated to the local PTTP effort.

Before then, “it was just a bunch of guys throwing five dollars in the pot, and then going out and trying to catch the biggest fish,” he said. “Whoever that was would win the pot.”

In 2009, however, the group decided to donate the funds to PTTP. Since then, the group has donated $87,000, with the help of lots and lots of fisher people and good hearts.

“Austin is a very giving community,” Newman said. “It’s an amazing community.”

Doreen Gillard echoed the thought.

Five-year-old Will Meyer watches his line.

“We are behind The Hormel Institute one hundred percent,” she said, as she handed out event items at the Eagles. Doreen, with her husband, Tom, who continues with treatments for prostate cancer, help organize the Bowling for the Battle which will be held March 3 at Echo Lanes. That effort raises funds for prostate cancer research. Gillard said many who attended Saturday’s ice fishing event will sign up for bowling, too.

“We help each other out,” she said, referring to the two events. “It all goes for the cause. We are really heartfelt about it.”

Fisherman Jeff Raymond of Glenville said he participates because he, too, has seen friends and relatives with the disease.

This year, he admitted with a laugh, that he did “lots of observation” on the ice, but no luck catching fish.

But no matter, all agreed. Catching the biggest fish wasn’t the biggest thing about this day.

“This comes together because of friends; we’re really a friends organization” that cares about eliminating cancer, Gillard said.