Club for Boys heads to Deerfield Lake for “Hooked on Hardwater” mentorship program

DEERFIELD LAKE, S.D. — For the eighth year, the Club for Boys hit Deerfield Lake for “Hooked on Hardwater.” The event is about mentorship and giving back.

Every year since 2012, Rapid City’s Club for Boys has paired young boys ages six to 17 with professional ice fishermen for some ice fishing lessons through the “Hooked on Hardwater” program.

60 boys are paired with 60 pros. The goal? To build bridges with young boys, many of whom have no role model to emulate.

” A lot of our members might not have a positive male role model in the home so this gives them that along with just being with somebody that’s always going to be there to encourage them,” said Chantel McDonnell, Director of Development at the Club for Boys

Many of the boys get to come back year after year.

For Jordonn Taylor, this was his best fishing year yet.

“It was definitely more this year; I caught six, which is pretty good. That’s probably my high number, so next year will be more for me. I just love ice fishing with the pros ’cause they really teach me a lot. I also love doing it and hanging with the staff that are here as well,” Taylor said.

Outdoor Program Director Maggie Young says with every activity the local organization orchestrates, she hopes one message continues to echo.

“I just hope that they know that they’re loved and they got people that care about them, and it doesn’t matter if they end up a pro fisherman, they just know that they got people on their side and that they’re able to do whatever they want to do,” Young said. “There’s people out there that’ll take them. A lot of this stuff is not accessible to every boy and we make it accessible to every boy.”

The night ended with an annual banquet, with 450 registered to attend.

All proceeds from the event go to the Boys Club.

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