Kids from a past Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Benefit for the Disabled Fishing Derby share a moment together at Dodge No. 4 State Park, on Cass Lake in Waterford.

Kids from a past Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Benefit for the Disabled Fishing Derby share a moment together at Dodge No. 4 State Park, on Cass Lake in Waterford.

Photo by Tommie Sundquist


Annual fishing derby event features fun-filled times

By: Sherri Kolade | C&G Newspapers | Published July 31, 2018

 Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team members participate in a past Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Benefit for the Disabled Fishing Derby.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team members participate in a past Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Benefit for the Disabled Fishing Derby.

Photo by Tommie Sundquist

OAKLAND COUNTY — Doris Clarkson believes that God has something to do with it.

Pretty much every year on that second Wednesday in August, the sun is shining and the weather is perfect for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s Benefit for the Disabled Fishing Derby.

It hasn’t rained on that particular day since 1987. 

Clarkson, president of the 501(c)(3) entity, a division of the Sheriff’s Office, isn’t counting on rain 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at Dodge No. 4 State Park, on Cass Lake in Waterford.

“There is never a bad time,” she said, adding that people always ask her if there is a backup date for the fishing derby, in case of inclement weather or something else. 

“God doesn’t do that to his special children. … It’s a beautiful day. It might rain the night before. It might rain night of, but not the day.”

The event, now in its 32nd year, nets about 2,000 attendees and many more supporters.

During the fishing derby’s inception in Oakland County, 35 kids came out in 1987.

Clarkson said that since then, Cass Lake residents have embraced the program, which features boat rides, a picnic lunch, picture taking and more.

She added that local first responders and representatives from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office are on the scene.

“We do everything to make it as safe as possible,” she said. “There is a real sense of camaraderie.”

Clarkson said that the group is also working on a universal-access playground for Dodge No. 4 State Park. The organization is raising funds and meeting with vendors to get the initiative started.

“We kind of adopted that park as our park for any disabled event. Now we’re expanding and also starting to set up future fundraisers to build an all-access playground so disabled people can play with able-bodied children,” she said.

Clarkson added that the “one big party” event draws laughter and good times.

“It’s just a great time,” she said. “We have companies call us every year (and say), ‘What do you need? What can we do?’”

She said that My Town Mobil, in Commerce Township, known as Mike’s Mobil, has been a part of the event for the past 32 years.

“They never fail,” she said. “Any slack to be picked up, they pick it up. I’m so overwhelmed with being grateful for that kind of support.”

Omar Putrus, owner of Mike’s Mobil gas station, said that his father started getting involved well over 20 years ago. When Putrus’ father passed away in 2005, Putrus continued to sponsor and volunteer and donate as much as he could to this specific group.

“Because when you go there, it is a priceless feeling that you get to see the joy that everyone there has,” he said, adding that this program is important to him. “As long as I can go and support and volunteer and donate, I will continue to do that. I’ve never been involved in anything like this before.”

For more information or to register by Aug. 3, go to www.ocsd benefit.org. To register by phone, call (248) 618-8900.