Annual fishing derby ‘is as Greenfield as it gets’


By Jacob Clary - jclary@aimmediamidwest.com



This is a scene from a past Daryle Unger and Peanut Fishing Derby at Mitchell Park in Greenfield.

This is a scene from a past Daryle Unger and Peanut Fishing Derby at Mitchell Park in Greenfield.


Times-Gazette file photo

Organizers of the Daryle Unger and Peanut Fishing Derby in Greenfield are looking for donations for the dinner and auction being held on Saturday, April 24.

Mark Branham, a volunteer helping put the event together, said the fishing derby is currently scheduled for sometime in June. He said volunteers are looking for “high-dollar” items that would be in the public interest. Some items mentioned by Branham include: Homemade items such as fresh jams or jellies, knives, furniture or artwork; anything Greenfield like antiques, collectibles, photos or yearbooks; one-of-a-kind items like autographed items, vintage items or items with a story; antiques like old money, marbles, old millstones or farm items; cars/trucks or boats; gift baskets; food; experiences like hot air balloon rides, painting classes or tickets to museums, concerts or sporting events; services like landscaping, catering, haircuts, photography; new items like grills, mowers, appliances, guns or “literally anything.”

Contact Branham at 937-403-3915 or go to the Facebook group Greenfield Daily Times to learn more on how to donate.

Branham said 100 percent of the money raised stays in Greenfield. He also said there are no administrative costs, salaries or fees. It all goes to a scholarship or the fishing derby.

Not only is the group looking to fund the prizes it gives to every kid that participates in the fishing derby, but it also funds a $500 scholarships for a graduating seniors at McClain High School called the Daryle Unger Memorial Scholarship. Branham said that last year six of the scholarships were awarded.

The event started after Unger, a well-known member of the Greenfield community, passed away in a trenching accident in 2002. Since his death, there has been a fishing derby in Under’s honor at Mitchell Park in Greenfield. However, there were a couple of years it wasn’t at Mitchell Park.

Branham said that Jimmy Jones and his wife, Elizabeth Jones, have played a major factor in continuing the event.

“Jimmy has pretty much dedicated his whole life to helping his community, helping kids… Jimmy’s heart is as big as this building and he’s been the driving force behind this,” Branham said.

The fishing derby is held in June each year and attended by “hundreds, if not thousands” of kids in different age groups. The event starts early in the day with the kids in the younger ages and continues throughout the rest of the day. Branham said Jones makes sure literally every kid leaves the event with a prize, and each of them gets a ticket as well, which is used to draw numbers for other prizes.

He said these prizes are “nice,” mentioning new bicycles, new fishing equipment, grills and sporting event tickets.

“I think the very first year some kids left empty-handed, and I don’t think Jimmy’s heart could handle that, so ever since then every kid has left with something,” Branham said.

The only goal for the fishing derby, he said, is for every kid to have fun. He also said they want every kid in Greenfield to come to the derby, emphasizing that it isn’t a contest.

In terms of the scholarship, Branham said that a goal would be to at least match what it did last year.

“The only thing I would add is to thank the people of Greenfield,” Branham said. “They’ve always responded to this fundraiser and this event in a huge way… I’ve said in my Facebook posts, and I truly believe it, this is as Greenfield as it gets. There’s lots of fundraisers, there’s lots of ways to donate money here in Greenfield, but you’re not going to find one that’s any more Greenfield than this.”

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

This is a scene from a past Daryle Unger and Peanut Fishing Derby at Mitchell Park in Greenfield.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2021/04/web1_fishing.jpgThis is a scene from a past Daryle Unger and Peanut Fishing Derby at Mitchell Park in Greenfield. Times-Gazette file photo

By Jacob Clary

jclary@aimmediamidwest.com