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FISH FRY at Bluffers Park Marina..Toronto
History of the Fish Fry

Fish Fry History

From its humble beginnings in 1988, a small group of charter boat operators decided to hold an " in house" fishing competition. The idea was to gather socially at the end of the year and have a friendly competition between the charter boat captains. The problem was what to do with ALL the fish that were caught. The answer: an outside barbecue, and for a small donation to a charity of choice, serving a light lunch of smoked, poached, and fried fish. The donation of $400.00 went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in honor of one of the found members who had a son stricken with M.S.

The following year the lunch expanded to include rolls, sausages, and music supplied by a small stereo system. It was simple but enjoyed by the few people that happened by that day. The amount raised was approximately $450.00, which was donated to the Canadian Cancer Society since other founding members had been affected by this disease.

The following year there was more interest in establishing this event on a annual basis and a letter was put forth to the charter boat community for their input on where the money collected would be given. There was hardly a response so it was decided to go with the Cancer Society again, since cancer affected all of us at one point or another.

Over the years, beginning in 1989, other ways of expanding the days event took hold. Live bands were included on the venue and local advertising in community papers established. This brought down to our marina a larger audience and positive response from the public showing a substantial increase in funds raised (approx. $1000.00) for the day, again only from donations for lunch. Sadly, one of our founding members of the fish fry and well-loved member of the charter boat community passed away with cancer. It was at this point where the charter boat community renamed our annual charter boat fishing competition to "The Freddie McMahon Pro Fishing Invitational". It has now become one of the most popular "in house " fishing tournaments for the summer.

The following year more interest was shown in the days event. It was then that we expanded to cover the first long weekend in August. Starting with an opening dance held Friday night at The Dogfish Pub, the fishing tournament Saturday and Sundays fish fry. The communities as a whole including the Ontario Sport Fishing Guides Association, marina members and community spirited businesses in Scarborough were lending a hand. The advertising increased and the good news got out thanks to the personal writers in our community papers.

Our little BBQ was becoming the weekend to spend down at the marina, enjoy the sunshine, as well as the goodwill of raising money for a worthy cause. Over the past few years the fish fry volunteers worked tirelessly to reach out to many businesses for donations of gifts or dry goods (pop, snacks etc.) and were received most kindly. With their positive support coupled with many bands, sound technicians and generous support of our many volunteers that day, we now offer a silent auction table, boaters flea market, face painting, clowns, fun and games for the young and young at heart. The last hree years with generous support from our corporate sponsor C.I.B.C and their staff volunteers, as well as many other businesses that donated gifts and goods totaling over 60.

In 2004 our "17th year" the total amount of money raised, which 100% off all donations go to the Canadian Cancer Society totaled in excess of
$12,000. Our special thanks go out to everyone including our local and citywide media.

We are planning for the 2005 "18th" year events and are trying our best to make it enjoyable for all ages (1 to 100). Volunteers are welcome. Hope to see you there. Remember with your help Cancer can be beaten.

Brian Wilson
Event Chairman

100% of all donations and funds raised go to the Canadian Cancer Society