RUMFORD — More than 40 residents from the Rumford Community Home and Pinnacle Health and Rehab in Canton were guests at a fishing derby, barbecue and ice cream social Wednesday afternoon.

Roger White, owner of White’s Yardworks on Mountain View Annex, hosted Warren & Shirley Farwell Catch & Release Day at his property. The first derby was two years ago had 30 anglers.

Game Warden Sgt. Tom McKenney and Deputy Game Warden Amelia Frederic attended, with McKenney handing out five hats to the winners. One went to Pinnacle resident Bonnie Beckwith who caught the biggest fish, a 19-inch rainbow trout.

Many of the anglers fished from a covered area, with McKenney casting and Frederic ready with a net if needed.

Beckwith said she fished for many years and loved getting the opportunity again.

One of the highlights was hearing Korean War veterans Roger Bowden and Glen Tompkins share stories about their time spent in the military, recalling names of fields and hills there. Both wore Korea veteran hats.

White told the story behind the sign “Warren & Shirley Farwell Catch & Release Day.”

Following graduation from Mexico High School in 1986, White moved into Farwells’ residence on Virgin Street where there was an apartment.

“They were great to me,” he said. “I had grandparents, but I was so little when they passed away … So I adopted Warren and Shirley as my grandparents.”

White said Warren liked to fish, so he planned to take him fishing one day, but Warren’s health declined before he had the opportunity. Out of respect for the Farwells, he decided to host a fishing derby for nursing home residents.

“Just because they’re gone, I don’t want their memories to be gone,” White said. “I want everyone to remember who they were and the kind of people they were,” he said.

White said thanked the volunteers who assisted the anglers by casting lines and preparing the meal. Food and drinks were donated by local businesses.

“One guy doesn’t do this alone. Without you, all this couldn’t happen,” he posted on Facebook.

He also expressed his admiration for the residents. “I’ve always looked up to older people because they’re just so smart. It takes your whole life to learn everything you know. Doing things for them just makes me feel good,” he wrote.

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