I never did have the opportunity to meet Blair. He was a member of the Quinte Bassmasters before I had joined. At 35 years old, he lost a battle to cancer last year. He had a wish, that in his memory children would get the opportunity to get into fishing, as he was an avid fisherman himself.
This year was the starting of what I believe will grow each year. The Blair Smith Fishing With Kids event had 3 casting competitions. There was no cost for the event. Children grouped from age 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12 years of age got the chance to cast at targets to win prizes. Every child was given a prize donated by Canadian Tire in Belleville (Ontario, Canada), and the top scorer of each age group of the day, was then awarded a medallion. The medals were given out at the Quinte Fishing Series stage (as they also had a tournament going on the same days). Then at the Quinte Fishing Series Classic, all the top competitors will come back and do a final cast-off for more prizes.
The turn-out on each of the days was great, although we did get rained out on one occasion. I was able to volunteer my time for each event, and it was a very rewarding opportunity for me. The children had a great time, and no matter the score they were pleased in the end because they got to take home a few new additions to their tackle boxes and learn a bit about casting.
It was easy to see how much of an impact Blair had left on the lives of others. His family, his children, and friends were there to help with the event, and their faces glowed with happiness as they watched Blair’s wish come true. Here are a few photos from the event:
To donate to the Blair Smith Fishing With Kids you can contact the Quinte Bassmasters, or Quinte Conservation.