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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Sportsmen Fish Fry helps raise funds

by Garrett Fodor

On Saturday, the Gosfield North Sportsmen Association (GNSA) held its 18th annual fish fry at St. Johns Hall in Woodslee.

  The fall fish fry is one of two seasonal dinner fundraisers the organization hosts, with the other being the wild game dinner, which has taken place in the spring for over 30 years.

  “It is our 18th annual fish fry, it is a bit of a fundraiser. We’re cooking up pickerel and fries. We have a raffle table that people can buy tickets for. We also draw the winners for our annual raffle tonight, with people having a chance to earn hunting supplies and experiences,” Dale Holland said, who is the President of the Gosfield North Sportsmen Association.

  “The proceeds from the event go to the Gosfield North Sportsmen Association, and, with that, we use the funds to buy feed for the pheasants. Here, in the fall, we let about 1,000 pheasants go, and then we sell another 1,000 to the Lakeshore group and they let them go. This is something we have been doing since 1985,” Holland said.

  Holland was happy with the number of dinner tickets sold. He was planning for 175 people to attend, which he said is an average attendance for the annual event.

  The origins of the GNSA began in the early 1960s, when a small group of sportsmen began getting together to raise and release pheasants into the wild. The club officially became the Gosfield North Sportsmen Association in 1985, after several name changes. In 2000, the Association became affiliated with the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers.

  Today, the club features more than 70 members and volunteers.

  Holland added the Association does a lot of work for the youth, including creating and putting on the Essex Youth Pheasant Hunt. The organization’s overall goal is to bring men, women, and youths together with the common goal of learning about and preserving the hunting heritage.

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