13th Annual Midvale Station Ice Fishing Derby raised over $11K for local family

    (Midvale, WY) – The annual Midvale Station Benefit Ice Fishing Derby & Raffle once again provided the opportunity for community members to come together, get on the ice, catch some fish, eat some delicious chili, and raise money for a good cause.

    Held on January 12-14 this past weekend and now in its 13th year, the 2024 derby raised over $11,500 for the Ellison family, who tragically lost everything they had in a devastating fire.

    “It is our honor, and our blessing to be able to live in such an amazing community,” commented organizers/store owners Jack and Elaine Lackey.


    “With the help and efforts of all, the 13th Annual Benefit Ice Fishing Derby at Ocean lake, hosted by Midvale Station, was a huge success! We can’t thank everyone enough for your support, your contributions, or your patronage.”

    The Lackeys also shared the following numbers:

    • The silent auction and live auction generated $2338.00
    • The 50/50 raffle winner donated all of the winnings to the family and generated $438.00
    • The prize raffle sales generated another $8512.00, and the ticket winners were: 1st Place, Mason Lucas; 2nd Place, Joe Stanbury; 3rd Place, Mike Cunningham; 4th Place, Thomas Geer; 5th Place, Pat Lookingbill

      Organizers added that all of the ice derby winners donated their winnings back to the benefit as well, which totaled $465.00, and that many others donated directly to the family.

      The Ellisons were not able to attend the derby this year, but organizers shared the following message on their behalf (which even asks that some of the funds raised go to the Watts family, who also recently lost their home in a fire):

      My family and I could never begin to thank each and every person for everything that has been done for us during this auction and event. Jack and family and Midvale we thank you so much for all you have done and the hard work and long hours to put on a community event of this nature. After getting to know you Jack you truly are one of the most caring human beings we have had the pleasure of knowing and in such a short time. Fremont County is so special, unlike any other area around, the generosity and care that is shown to those in tragedy and struggles is immeasurable. We are sorry we couldn’t be there this weekend because wyoming weather forced some traveling we had to do but we can’t thank you all enough for what has been done. We saw over the last few days that another family tragically lost so much in another fire and we would humbly like to ask that some of the weekends proceeds be donated to Dusty and Kayla Watts and family; we know their pain and heartbreak in this moment and we send all of our love to this family as well.”

      As for the fishing this year, only 16 catches were recorded over the three day period, with no ling caught until the very last day.

      No carp or suckers were hooked at all either, and in what attendees called “an oddity” this year, fisherman Cody Ogle came in with a crappie, which ended up taking the prize for the smallest fish.

      The full list of winners and categories are below.


    • 1st Place: Stephanie Lawson (1.75)
    • 2nd Place: John Esquibel (1.19)
    • 3rd Place: (None)


    • 1st Place: Mick Albright (1.07)
    • 2nd Place (Tie decided by coin flip): Cody Ogle (1.01)
    • 3rd Place (Tie decided by coin flip): Tyler Jamerman (1.01)


    • 1st Place: Tyler Jamerman (4.87)
    • 2nd Place: Bridger Lawson (2.96)
    • 3rd Place: Avery Ogle (no weight shared)

      We can’t forget that bellies were also warmed with delicious chili after all the cold hours on the ice, and this year’s chili cook-off winners were:
    • 1st (Red): Brian Wiles
    • 2nd (Red): Tammy Watros
    • 3rd (Red): Erin Wolfe
    • 1st: (Green): Brian Wiles
    • 2nd (Green): Jack Noe
    • 3rd (Green): Levi Johnson

    In addition to recognizing the volunteer judges Shane Fehring, Kyle Baker, Ben Griebel, and Hank & Judy Donahue, the organizers also wanted to thank all of the donors and contributors “for their hard work and their support,” including:

    • The Bike Mill
    • Sahen Meyer
    • Lander Marine & Cycle
    • Lander Ace Hardware
    • Bloedorn Lumber
    • Jeff Martin
    • Fremont Toyota
    • Riverton Tire & Oil
    • Twice & Nice Thrift
    • Sportsman Warehouse
    • One Eyed Buffalo
    • The Ruby Family
    • Steve & Marylyn Flamming
    • Sheri Soma
    • Rocky Mountain Sports
    • Liberty Pawn
    • 307 Thrift
    • Stitches Embroidery
    • Out West Salon
    • Possum Petes
    • Cedar Bar
    • The Cove
    • The Print Shop
    • Kinnear store
    • Tim & Tina Brazil
    • BCM Sales
    • Commissario
    • The entire Midvale Station Staff
    • “And to all the others and your generous donations, we can’t thank you enough!”

      Following the cook-off and derby winner announcements on Sunday, attendees also got to enjoy the silent auction, raffle, and puppy adoption auction.

    Check out some of the photos below! (Note: Not all winners were present for photos.)


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