Roger White, left, holds up a rainbow trout caught by Glen Tompkins of Peru, seated, at White’s fishing derby Monday. Held at White’s house in Rumford, about 30 members of the Rumford Community Home attended a barbecue and fishing derby, organizaed in honor of White’s adoptive grandparents Warren and Shirley Farwell. Photo by Lynda Hebert

RUMFORD — Roger White’s adoptive grandparents Warren and Shirley Farwell loved fly-fishing.

Both were also residents of Rumford Community Home within the past six years, until their deaths, White said as he and his friends prepared for about 30 residents of Rumford Community Home and others to visit his house Monday and be treated to a barbecue and an afternoon of fishing.

White said he recalls that when he would visit grandfather at the community home, his grandfather’s roommate never had visitors and complained about being lonely.

White saw many lonely people at the community home, which inspired him to “do something to make the residents smile.”

On Monday afternoon, under the threat of rain, White held his first Warren and Shirley Farwell Catch and Release Day.

To prepare for the fishing derby for his elderly friends, White stocked his smaller, 2-foot-deep pond in front of his house with 50 rainbow trout on Friday —  just to be sure there would be plenty of fish to catch.

Before the community home folks began fishing, they enjoyed fish chowder made with fish White’s friend Mark Cote caught in the Gulf of Maine.

Standing by his pot of chowder sitting over an outdoor burner, Cote said, “The residents are in for a treat.”

Along with the fish chowder, guests were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs, all donated by Naples Packing Co. in Mexico.

Roger Bowden, seated left, and Martha Easter, seated, enjoy fishing Monday afternoon at Roger White’s pond in Rumford. White stocked the pond with 50 rainbow trout for the residents of Rumford Community Home, who were invited for a barbecue and to participate in a fishing derby. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

Joe Bernard, a community home resident and veteran of the U.S. Marines, said he has enjoyed fly-fishing all his life, including at his camp in Jackman.

Roger Bowden, also a veteran, said he likes to fish, explaining why he was first in line to head down to the pond after eating his fish chowder.

The first person to catch a rainbow trout, Glen Tompkins, 88, of Peru was visiting and enjoying the gathering with his daughter, Lynda Hebert, a Peru selectman.

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