The fourth annual Shawn Stoneham Memorial Fishing Tourney will be held Sunday, June 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oppenheim Park, Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Wheatfield.
The event is organized each year by Samantha Stoneham, 20, of Niagara Falls, as a tribute to her brother, Shawn, who died of leukemia eight years ago in June at the age of 8.
"The biggest project I am a part of is one I have created myself in memory of Shawn," Samantha writes. "It is called the Shawn Stoneham Memorial and every June I hold a fishing tourney at Oppenheim Park in Wheatfield to raise money for all the organizations who had helped my family through our darkest time. This will be my fourth year holding the derby, and I am really trying to expand and reach out to more people in order to make this year our best year yet."
In past years, proceeds from the derby have gone to Carly's Club, Make-A-Wish and the children's floor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. Samantha notes that past years have raised in the neighborhood of $3,000 - a figure she hopes to increase this year.
"This year I will be donating all of our proceeds to Essential Care. They are in-home nurses who greatly reduced the amount of hospital visits that my brother had to endure. As well as being in-home nurses, they also double as Hospice, which helped tremendously, especially in my brother's last days. Because of Essential Care, my brother was able to pass in our home, in our arms, comfortable. This is something that meant so much to us, and still does to this day."
The derby is open to children ages 13 and under and teens. Tickets are $5 presale and $7 the day of the event at Pavilion No. 1 at Oppenheim Park. Derby prizes include amusement park tickets, tickets to local events such as tours and sporting games, parks and gift cards.
A basket raffle, bake sale and cookout will also be featured, along with a number of family fun activities. For more information, email Samantha at [email protected] or call 716-201-8108.