ROSS TWP. — Participants of the Anthony Sylvester Gennusa Memorial Scholarship Fishing Derby will have to backup any attempted tall tales by measuring and weighing their fish in hopes of reeling in a prize.
The second annual Anthony Sylvester Gennusa Memorial Scholarship Fishing Derby & Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, outside the National Guard Armory, 1308 Susquehanna Ave., West Pittston.
Gennusa, the derby’s namesake, was an 18-year-old Sweet Valley resident who was killed after losing control of a truck he was driving on Route 118 in May 2015.
Gennusa was en route to an advisory meeting at Penn College of Technology in Williamsport, according to his mother, Heather Evans.
He would have graduated that June from West Side Career & Technology Center in Pringle and was awarded a scholarship to attend Penn College of Technology in the fall to study heating, ventilation and air conditioning, she said.
To honor their son’s memory and help other aspiring West Side Career & Technology Center students, the family created a scholarship funded by a fishing derby and a fundraiser held at the school.
The scholarship is for “graduating students from West Side Career and Technology Center who maintain above average grades and have plans to continue their education,” Evans said.
“Next year we plan to offer a scholarship to the school graduates and also to students going to Penn College of Technology for HVAC,” she said.
Derby registration is from 8 to 9 a.m. A fee of $15 per participating adult and $10 for each child 12-years old and younger will be collected the day of the event, Evans said.
The catch and release fishing derby will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Contestants are advised to bring a bucket to keep fish alive. All fish will be returned to the river after being weighed. Also, all Pennsylvania Fish and Game rules apply to participants. Children must be accompanied by an adult during the event.
Cash prizes will be awarded for the heaviest fish, longest bass and longest catfish.
“We changed the categories this year,” Evans said.
Last August’s fishing derby and fundraiser attracted about 100 guests including nearly 40 fishing participants, she said.
Last year’s derby winners were:
• Longest Bass: Tom Craig for a 15-inch bass;
• Second Longest Bass: Nick Seprish for a 14.5-inch bass; and
• Heaviest Fish Overall: Gavin Weisgable for a five-pound catfish.
But attendees don’t need to fish to partake in the fun, Evans said.
A silent auction will be held featuring a variety of donated baskets and gift cards, she said. A 50/50 raffle will also be offered.
Lunch will be provided at 1 p.m. to fishing contestants but will cost $5 for non-fishing guests, she said.
“This year Sweet Lush (Cupcakery Camper) will be there,” Evans said. “They will donate a portion of sales.”
The fishing derby is a fitting way to remember Gennusa’s love of the outdoors while helping other students achieve their academic dreams, she said.
Evans said her son would spend a lot of time fishing at North Lake in Sweet Valley during the summer.
“One of the very first big catches he got was from North Lake,” Evans said in an email. “It was a 48-inch carp. It (the fish) was so big his stepdad had to help him pull it in.”
It was a tradition for Gennusa and his dad, Tony, to fish on the first day of trout season, Evans said.
For more information on the Anthony Sylvester Gennusa Memorial Scholarship Fishing Derby & Fundraiser, visit https://www.facebook.com/asgennusa/.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.