Throughout his life Jake Saufert could be found outside, he loved the typical things that men his age do cars, sports, hunting but most of all he loved fishing.
“Winter or summer, it didn’t matter, Jake had his hook in the water. A few years before he passed away, Jake built himself an ice fishing shack. As long as there was ice on the lake his shack was on it, and if you ever wondered where he was, that’s where you would find him. He was most proud of the woodstove he had handcrafted for it,” said his mother, Tamara Saufert.
This will be the sixth year of the Jake Saufert Annual Memorial Ice Fishing Derby.
“Jake succumbed to the silent illness of depression… on January 24, 2016, just two days before what is now becoming popularly known as Blue Monday, if we had only known. Jake was our one and only precious son. He was a brother to two beautiful sisters and he was a friend to everyone. Those who knew Jake, even a little, lost a shining light in their lives when he died.”
After he passed away, one of Jakes’s best friends approached the family with the idea to hold a fishing derby in Jake’s honour. The idea was instantly embraced and together, family and friends decided that money raised from the event would be donated to causes that support mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
“Over the years we have donated all proceeds from our event to various organizations, Youth Unlimited, Soul Sisters Memorial Foundation and the Smiles thru Lindsey Foundation. If we can contribute to helping even one person to understand that it’s okay not to be okay and that this too shall pass, and save one family from suffering the excruciating pain our family has endured, then everything we have been through will not have been for nothing.
This year, Saufert said the family has a “lofty goal”.
“We, are attempting to raise $5,000 which would allow us to start an endowment fund through the Red Deer and District Community Foundation in Jake’s name. This fund would allow us to provide ongoing future support to those seeking funding for mental health initiatives in our community.”
This year the derby will be held Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at Brownlows Landing at Gull Lake in Lacombe County.
Check-in will open at 7 a.m. for participants to sign in and pick up their lunches. Derby fishing times are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The cost is $25 per person, kids 10 and under are free and qualify for junior angler prizes. Registrations can be done through Eventbrite. There is a link on the Jake Saufert Annual Memorial Ice Fishing Derby page