LIVERMORE FALLS — The fishing wasn’t great, but the company was awesome, said Round Pond resident Pete Duguay, referencing the HollandStrong ice-fishing derby on Saturday at Round Pond in Livermore Falls.

This was the second year the derby was held in memory of Michael Holland, to raise money for a scholarship in his name.

Holland, 25, of Wilton, was one of 33 crew members who died aboard the SS El Faro, a cargo ship that sank in the Bahamas on Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin.

All proceeds from the derby and sales go to the HollandStrong Memorial Scholarship, awarded to graduating seniors pursuing post-secondary education in engineering or diesel/automotive mechanics.

“They have to go into a hands-on, ‘get your hands dirty’ degree (program),” said Deb Roberts, Holland’s mother.

Seniors from Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Mt. Blue High School in Farmington and Spruce Mountain High School in Jay are eligible.

Last year, about 600 people registered to participate in the derby. This year, it dropped down to 380, but Roberts wasn’t discouraged.

“It’s actually a good turnout considering the weather,” she said, referring to the single-digit temperatures, blustering wind and snow.

Duguay, who lives on Round Pound year-round, has always attended the derbies, and said he’s in it for the fun and the fundraising. His ice shack was surrounded by family and friends, and the ribs in the smoker wafted a warm and pleasant smell to those on the ice.

“We’re all in it to give money to the scholarship and enjoy ourselves,” Duguay said. “It’s a great cause and a great event. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

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Deb Roberts, mother of Michael Holland, helped organize the HollandStrong ice-fishing derby on Round Pond in Livermore Falls on Saturday.

Pete Duguay and his wife, Laurie, of Team Danger, attended the HollandStrong ice-fishing derby on Saturday at Round Pond, just like they do every year.

The turnout at the HollandStrong ice-fishing derby on Round Pond in Livermore Falls on Saturday was a little less than last year, but better than expected considering the cold, said Deb Roberts, mother of Michael Holland.

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