After a one-year hiatus, the Carson's Hope Fishing Derby is back this weekend at Penn Township Municipal Park.
This will be the third free derby in memory of Carson Rudick, a township boy who was 5 when he died of cancer in 2010. Carson's family was unable to hold the derby last year because a park project included the expansion of the pond and necessitated that it be closed to park visitors.
Carson's mother, Carlie Rudick, said the Sunday morning derby celebrates the boy's love of fishing, particularly with his father, Jim. Two years ago, the derby attracted 130 contestants.
“We are glad to have the derby up and running again,” Rudick said in an email. “The pond looks great. It's much bigger, and the kids should have a lot more room to fish this year.”
Since Carson's death, his family set up Carson's Hope Charitable Trust to support pediatric-cancer research. It raises about $30,000 a year through fundraisers, Rudick said.
The Rudicks now have a 2-year-old daughter and are expecting another daughter in June.
“We feel that they are gifts from Carson,” Rudick said. “He sent them to us. We have our moments when our 2-year-old does things like him or makes a certain look like he did. It's bittersweet.
“But when I hold her, I can feel him, and I'm sure it will be the same when his littlest sister arrives, too.”
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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