HOFNOD scheduled for May 11

ELKINS — A long-standing event may be changing date and venue, but it will continue to spread its important message in the region in hopes of promoting a positive impact in the community.

Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) is scheduled for May 11 at the Phil Gainer Community Center in Elkins.

Event organizers say this year’s event will be much different from recent HOFNOD expos and will focus more on the originally intended anti-drug and pro-outdoor recreation message.

“It’s become apparent that HOFNOD has sort of lost some traction on it’s original message and has kind of morphed into more of a community expo — which is great — but not in meeting the original goals of HOFNOD,” Chris Lee, Phil Gainer Community Center manager and one of this year’s organizers, said.

Lee added that the event will feature experiential education attractions grounded in drug awareness and promoting all the spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities that abound in the area – not just fishing. He noted that this year’s event will not include organizational fundraising or selling of goods in any way, except for concessions.

“We want kids to leave HOFNOD with a mind full of ideas, goals and memories, not a grab-bag full of shwag they will lose and pamphlets that will ultimately be thrown away.” Lee said.

The event will still include some of the HOFNOD favorites, such as the fishing pond, climbing wall, gemstone mining and the HOFNOD challenge. And the event will still include some of the classic HOFNOD giveaways.

“We are very excited about the new direction of HOFNOD and the impact the event can have for many years to come,” Lee said. “We hope this year’s event, regardless of the changes, will still be an asset for the community.

There are many fun additions to HOFNOD 2019 that will be announced in the coming months. All activities will be completely free to participants.

Event organizers are encouraging any organizations with an outdoor recreation or anti-drug message to contact the Phil Gainer Community Center to propose an activity they would like to host this year at HOFNOD. Any individual or organization who would like to support this year’s event as a sponsor should also contact the Phil Gainer Community Center at 304-591-1410 or clee@cityofelkinswv.com.