Kids under 18 can cast a line and spend some time at the Andrew Mullen Memorial Trout Fishing Derby, set for this Saturday, May 11 from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Mullen Farm at 225 Cole Bank Road in Saugerties. All proceeds from the $10 entrance fee and other donations collected will go toward trade-related expenses for a Saugerties High student planning to attend a vocational trade school or go right into the workforce.
Awards between $1,000 and $2,000 were handed out to seven students in 2018: Tony Bruno, Amber Marshall, Jose Leiva Sosa, Dustin Fisher, Justin MeMaio and Christopher Callaghan. Event organizer John Mullen said that nearly $10,000 has been raised for the cause already between 60 individual donors, local businesses and Sawyer Motors, before the event has even begun.
“My son passed away, and we always liked to take him to go fishing. We did it in memory of him — it’s always good to get the kids out to go fishing,” said Mullen. “[I host this event] just to see kids have a good time. That’s what it’s all about.”
Andrew Mullen drowned in his family pool in 2000 at just a year old. The boy was playing with his older brother when he wandered away. He was found in the pool only about 10 minutes after he had likely fallen in, and attempts by his father to resuscitate him failed. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston. The dual-dedicated scholarship also honors Andy Duffy, John Mullen’s brother-in-law who died at sea.
Over 300 rainbow, brown, brook and golden trout — the last of which earns a special prize for the young fisherman who catches it — prizes are awarded for a number of superlatives, including the largest fish caught. Fishing poles will be provided for those who don’t bring their own, along with bait and a pancake breakfast with homemade maple syrup and a commemorative T-shirt.
According to Mullen’s sister, Carolyn Monaghan, the derby is an old Saugerties tradition with a fresh twist. “My brother used to always do the fishing thing years ago, but he stopped doing it because he didn’t have enough help. He would do it for Father’s Day so that the kids could come and have a good time fishing,” she said. “Last year my brother and daughter and went to a derby across the river. We had such a good time and we thought, ‘Why don’t we start doing it again.’ He said, ‘I want to do it,’ so he ordered the fish and everything.”
For more information, contact Monaghan at (845) 389-7795, or look up “Andrew Mullen’s Fishing Derby” on Facebook.