Fishing Derby Will Fund New Preschool In Tonto


When small-town America sees a need, they rally behind the cause, and that’s what is happening in Tonto Basin this fall! The school district was hoping to build an addition to house the preschool program with the aid of state funding, but a moratorium was placed on all new school construction. This temporarily stopped the project, until a number of parents and concerned citizens met to find another way to complete the goal of a new building.

Some of the citizenry remembered when previous educational needs decades ago were accomplished by volunteers from the Tonto Basin area who made improvements on the Little Red School. This structure has long been torn down and just the fond memories remain of educational functions, church services, dances and weddings that frequented the school which was the center of activities for the basin.

Well, the plan is to reconstruct a replica of that famous landmark and do it all through volunteer labor and community fund-raising. The main event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4 with a two-person fishing tournament to be held on Roosevelt Lake followed by an afternoon BBQ and raffle at the Butcher Hook restaurant.

The fishing tournament has three categories where anglers can choose to enter the bass, crappie or catfish derby.  This is an added attraction which should encourage more entries, knowing that there are three species of fish that can be weighed. The maximum number of fish that can be brought to the scales are five bass, 10 crappies or three catfish.

The blast-off for the “three tournaments in one” will be from the Windy Hill launch at safe light, and will continue until 1 p.m. There are no off-limit days, and the entire lake can be fished during the competition.

The entry fee is $110 per team, with $60 for the funding of the Little Red Schoolhouse and the remaining $50 will go to prize money for the top five teams in each category. Each team entered will also receive two complimentary  BBQ dinner tickets and two raffle tickets for the grand prize drawing at the conclusion of the day.

During the outdoor dinner at the Butcher Hook, live music will be provided by the talented Clay Sopeland band from 3 to 6 p.m. October 4 is definitely the day to mark on your calendar and make it a point to be at this giant fund-raiser with the goal being the building of a preschool and the preservation of local history for Tonto Basin.

If you have any questions about the fishing tournament or any of the day’s activities, contact Laura at 479-2493 or The Tackle Box at 479-2108.

Invite a friend and enter the tournament for a morning on Roosevelt Lake, and enjoy God’s creation.


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