After their three-year-old son Hunter was killed in a car crash in 2001, his parents struggled with how to face what would have been the boy's fourth birthday without him by their side. Tyrone and Linda Fittje thought about how much Hunter loved to fish, and created the idea of a kid's fishing derby, with the proceeds going to create scholarships in Hunter's memory.  They say they wanted to give back to a community that has shown them so much love and support.

This Saturday, July 15th, marks the 17th annual Hunter Lewis Fittje Memorial Fishing Derby. So far, the derby has raised more than $18,000 in scholarship money awarded to graduates from various Natrona County High Schools.

The Fishing Derby is fun for the whole family, but aimed at kids ages 0 to 9. They're the ones who will be eligible for the contests and prizes. It will be at Yesness Park Pond in Casper from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with registration starting at 8:00 a.m. if you haven't already signed up. The registration donation is $5.00, but Linda says they won't turn anyone away if they can't pay that. Everyone registered will get a t-shirt, fishing derby license, and a goodie bag. There will be prizes, a raffle, and contest awards

If you're going, please plan to bring your fishing gear, bait, a lawn chair, and sunscreen if you have it. Some fishing gear will be available to borrow, with some folks on hand to help teach little ones who might need a lesson. The Fittjes encourage all participants to catch and release any fish that are caught during the contest.

If you have any questions, you can call Tyrone or Linda Fittje at (307) 266-5735.

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