Derby will benefit United Way, MDIFW

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NAPLES — Several hundred anglers looking for fun, prizes and a chance to help Maine organizations will come together for the 5th annual Hannaford Ice Fishing Derby from sunrise to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Naples Town Beach, Long Lake.

“Last year, more than 350 people registered to fish, between the children’s division and the adult contests,” said Michael Nale, co-chair of the derby and one of the Hannaford associates who originally organized it. “Everyone has a great time, whether they are in contention for a prize or just taking spending a day outside at a family-friendly event.”

The 2012 derby raised $23,000, with 90 percent of that total going to the United Way of Greater Portland and the remainder supporting the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The derby has raised $67,000 in its first four years.

The winner of the adult pickerel division last year caught a fish that was 28 inches long and 5.27 pounds; the adult salmon/brown trout contest was topped by a 21-inch, 3.43 pound brown trout.

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“The Hannaford Ice Fishing Derby has become a highlight for what is always an exciting weekend of winter activities in the Naples area,” said Mathew Welch, another event founder and co-chair. “Many people now see the derby as a special day for themselves and their family each year, in enjoying the Maine winter.”

Highlights include children’s and adult’s divisions; cash and gift-card prizes for anglers with the largest fish, nearly $2,000 in total value between the four contests; $1,000 door prize, sponsored in part by Cabela’s; raffles; food sales; and a free sample bag while supplies last. Winner of the children’s division will have his or her picture put on a Wheaties box for presentation at their school.

Pre-register at the Bridgton or North Windham Hannaford customer service desk prior to Feb. 9 or at the Naples Town Beach the morning of the derby. Registration is free for children under 16; $15 for anglers 16 or older; $10 for Hannaford associates.

For more information email mnale@hannaford.com, dsawyer@hannaford.com or mwelch@hannaford.com; or call 885-3028, 885-2292 or 885-2664.

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