BY TERRY CHAPMAN WEEKLY REPORTER
While the club grounds are not open to use unless you are a member, the benefits of a membership are well worth the $50 yearly cost. Members can fish in the well stocked lake 24/7. In addition to that, any other member of your immediate family can fish the lake as well, as long as they are under the age of 18. The pavilions are also available to any member at any time for no additional cost.
These, however, are not the only benefits of a membership at the O’Fallon Sportsmen’s Club. The central clubhouse is available for rent for a flat rate of just $75 for a multitude of events, whether it’s graduation parties or weddings.
The club itself is full of members who are kind, funny, and are always eager to help out anybody who has any questions.
Mark Tyberendt, an esteemed member of the club, was very enthusiastic when asked about what the club did for the community.
“We’ve recently added two primitive camping spaces,” Mark says, “and we’re about to open our archery range on June 25th. We’re having an open house from 10 a.m. until 2 that afternoon. It’s open to everybody who wants to check it out.”
In addition to one time events like the archery range grand opening, the club also hosts regular events that help to benefit the community. The club sponsors a local boy scout group.
“We also host the annual pinewood derby for the boy scouts. We also teach some hunter safety courses as well.”
“We also have a meat shoot,” added fellow club member Butch Robb enthusiastically. ”We end up giving away about $2,000 worth of meat from Trenton Processing to the winners. That won’t be until the 16th of October.”
Robb said even he was amazed at everything the club is involved in.
“It doesn’t seem like much until you start talking about what we do. You don’t realize everything that the club does,” said Robb.
The Club also partners with the O’Fallon Township Youth Committee to host an annual youth fishing derby. This year’s derby was to be held on June 4, but was canceled this year due to the weather.
“This would have been the 26th year of the derby. It’s only been rained out three other times in the past 15 years,” said Jeff Bevirt, O’Fallon Township trustee and Township Youth Committee chairman. “We ended up calling it because of safety reasons. There are lots of little kids that get close to the edge of the lake. If it’s too slippery, they could fall in and we don’t want that.”
Even though the fishing derby was cancelled, Bevirt and the rest of the club stuck around, passing out bait, and were more than happy to let the youth who braved the weather fish and enjoy themselves.
“It’s just great to see people come out and fish. The derby is a great way to get young kids interested in fishing,” said Bevirt.
One of the draws of the derby itself is that there are many awards and age divisions. There are four age groups. They range from 5-under, 6-8, 9-12, and 12-14. There are awards given for the largest fish, the smallest fish, and the most fish caught in each age group.
The O’Fallon Sportsmen’s Club is proud to be a staple of the community. They are always accepting new members, but cap out at 400. Stop by and see first hand how the members welcome everybody with open arms, and don’t pass out on an opportunity to become a part of a larger family.