The United Angler’s Upcoming Annual Program Fundraiser


Photo Credit: The United Anglers of Casa Grande

Erick Mendes

The United Anglers of Casa Grande are holding their annual fundraiser this upcoming Saturday. 

The United Anglers of Casa Grande, largely made up of the hatchery class students, are planning their 39th annual fundraising event on November 6, 2021. It will take place on Saturday and will be held in the Petaluma Community Center, at Lucchesi Park. Visitors will be required to wear masks inside the building at all times to uphold COVID-19 protocols. 

The United Anglers will be fundraising money for their program by selling raffle tickets for prize baskets and auctioning off items, among other things. Historically, their fundraising goal has been $100,000, made from a combination of fundraisers, grants, and personal donations. Furthermore, there will be an entrance fee of $10. 

“The cost to get in is $10, and you can obtain a ticket by either going to the hatchery and picking one up, or by asking a student that is part of the United Anglers program. All students from all class periods are selling tickets,” Pete Parakul, Casa Grande Senior and Vice President of the United Anglers of Casa Grande, explained.

The United Anglers will also be selling raffle tickets for some fun prizes. 

“Some of the prizes for winning the raffles are goodie baskets, which contain pet toys, fishing gear, gift cards, movies, snacks, clothing merchandise, and other cool items,” Parakul stated.

“Also, the number of raffle tickets per sale are measured by the length of one’s arm span,” Parakul added.

On top of the raffle, there will be silent auctions taking place. The United Anglers will be auctioning off items to the highest bidder, which include pottery, paintings, and other donated goodies. 

Although this is the 39th annual fundraiser for the United Anglers, it has not happened without challenges. Last year, the in-person fundraising event was postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. That did not stop the United Anglers from getting creative with their fundraising, however. 

“The fundraiser was canceled last year due to COVID. Instead, we decided to do our fundraiser online through a site similar to Go Fund Me, and we managed to meet our goal,” Parakul mentioned.

The way in which the United Anglers obtain the items for the fundraiser is creative and fun, while simultaneously ensuring that all students are a part of it. However, it is very time-consuming and takes a lot of work.

Photo Credit: Cate Carlson
Pictured: Senior hatchery students Zachary Xydas, Ian Davis, Pete Parakul, Trevor Marty walking around town asking local businesses for donations and selling fundraiser tickets.

“It’s gotten pretty hectic. The base of our fundraiser is students actively fundraising within the community. Every single day of the week for the months leading up to the event, students are out and about fundraising throughout Petaluma to get items for the auction and the raffle. Additionally, we also have to sell tickets and set up venues and plan tables. This year is more complicated than ever because we don’t know if we’ll have food or not, and there are other restrictions due to COVID,” Parakul stated. 

Nonetheless, the United Anglers are strictly determined to make the fundraiser work to the best of their abilities, while maintaining the safety of all. Casa Grande Senior and United Anglers member, Trevor Marty, also chimed in with some additional information about what the fundraising has looked like so far for the common student.

“We get our items for the fundraiser by having each student bring in a family gift box. Along with that, we go to local businesses during sixth period and ask for donations like gift cards, hats, sweaters, or whatever business owners are willing to donate,” Marty explained.

Furthermore, the event will have cake auctions as an additional means to raise money for the program. They are not your typical store-bought or donated cakes, however.

“The senior students are actually getting into groups and baking the cakes themselves. Then, the cakes will be displayed and we will be auctioning them off the night of the fundraiser,” Parakul stated.

Additionally, there will be a wine room at the fundraiser for community members 21 and up and it will be located in a separate room towards the back of the building.

Recently, the United Anglers of Casa Grande were called upon to hold the US Army Corp hatchery’s broodstock of the endangered Coho salmon, as the water temperatures were rising due to recent droughts. It is very apparent that they have been cooperating and working hard together all year long in order to raise 80,000 Coho salmon eggs, while juggling the responsibilities of hosting a large student-run fundraiser. 

All community members are openly invited and welcomed to the fundraiser. If you cannot reach a student or teacher from the program, you can also call 707-778-4703 for more information. Additionally, if you wish to donate to the historically great program, the donation link is attached below.