NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — The Lake Erie walleye fishing community is a tight-knit group. They may not share their best fishing spots in the area, but one thing they will share is their generosity.
That's where retired Brooklyn, Ohio firefighter turned charter captain Michael Mochan comes in.
Inspired by a little girl in his neighborhood named Sophia who was diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately lost her battle, Mochan- along with some fellow anglers- loosely organized an auction to help other kids in the hospital at Christmas time. They auctioned off all sorts of fishing gear, including the hottest custom-painted walleye lures of the season.
Last year, the Auction for Sophia raised $4,800 for toys and gifts that went directly to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's.
The 2021 auction is going on right now; on Wednesday, just three days into the 5-day social media event, the auction had raised over $6,300.
"We had some guys bidding against each other, and the one guy wanted to win and said 'when I win it, give the lures to the guy who lost,'" Mochan says of a recent bidding war for 10 NFP custom lures. "So, when we closed it I told him 'you got the lures', the guy said no, and matched the winners offer. That raised $3,000."
The latest report on the Wednesday auction of organ donor baits had the winning bid in at $3,100!
The Auction for Sophia is going on through Friday, December 3. All proceeds go to buying Christmas gifts and toys for kids battling cancer at Rainbow Babies. If you'd like more information on bidding or donating, click here.
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