ELKINS - Area students are fishing to find out when their parents will take them to the Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs Expo, slated for Saturday and Sunday at Elkins High School.
Kids and parents alike will find the weekend events a great break from the cold weather and cabin fever brought on by the long
Robin Miller, the coordinator for the event, said tons of activities are in store for participants over the two-day event. She said the purpose of HOFNOD is to deter drug use by encouraging kids to participate in fun outdoor activities like fishing.
Miller said this year's event will offer a HOFNOD Challenge where participants can learn about the dangers of meth labs, the dangers of smoking and information about bath salts. Kids attending these learning sessions will have the opportunity to win big prizes.
"At check-in, cards will be issued to the kids," Miller said. "When they attend the sessions, their cards will be stamped, and these will give students a chance at some larger prizes, including a sleeping bag or an iPad."
Miller said many favorites will be returning to the 20th annual HOFNOD event, including the fishing identification station, the hog trough - where kids learn about using the correct bait - the fish pond, Officer Phil from the Elkins City Police Department, the Elkins K-9 officers and Jim Fregonara and his magic show.
"The Elkins Lions Club will be giving away cotton candy, and units from the Randolph County EMS, Heath Net Helicopter and the Elkins Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand," Miller said. "The West Virginia State Police will have their BAT Mobile, and students can learn about the perils of drinking and driving with fatal vision goggles.
"French Creek Freddie, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Willie Ketchem, the fish mascot, will be making an appearance. And we will have the Fish Simulator game also this year."
Winners of the poster contest will be announced during the event. Miller said on Sunday, winners for the 50/50 raffle, Perkins Bass Boat, Duck Dynasty Gift Basket, a girls and boys bike and a lifetime youth fishing licence will be announced. Silent auction winners will be named on Sunday afternoon as well.
The gold sponsor for the event is Davis Medical Center, while the corporate sponsors are Art Medium and Laurel Mountain Construction. The organizational sponsors are the Mountain Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, Mike Ross Inc. and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.