Fishing was one of Connor Kincaid's passions.
The lifelong Lake in the Hills resident, who died at the age of 22 last August from injuries suffered in an automobile accident, grew up near the village's Woods Creek Lake area.
Connor Kincaid Memorial Fishing TournamentWhen: 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with awards and lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Indian Trail Beach, 228 Indian Trail, Lake in the Hills
It didn't take long for Kincaid to get bit by the fishing bug.
"Connor started fishing since he was four or five," his mother, Dawn Kincaid, said. "He spent a lot of time on that lake. He did various programs through the city and he really took a liking to fishing. He enjoyed the quiet time. It started off as a hobby and it grew into a passion. When he got older he would come home from work and go out and fish on the lake or he'd eat dinner and spend the rest of the evening on the lake."
Kincaid's love for fishing will be celebrated Saturday, Aug. 19, with the Connor Kincaid Memorial Fishing Tournament at Indian Trail Beach in Lake in the Hills. The tournament, held on Kincaid's birthday, runs from 8-11 a.m., and a lunch and award celebration takes place at 11:30 a.m. All proceeds will be donated to the village in honor of Kincaid's life and will be used to restock fishing areas in the community.
"We're very happy to work with Connor's family on this," Lake in the Hills Superintendent of Recreation Megan Melendez said. "Connor was a longtime resident of the village and lived here before everything was built up and developed. He was a very well-liked young man. A lot of people have expressed interest in the tournament and we expect a good turnout."
Dawn Kincaid said a smaller tournament was held last year for family members and friends, but talk soon started about doing one on a larger scale.
"As we talked as a family about celebrating and memorializing his passion, Lake in the Hills has never had a fishing tournament since we lived here," she said. "We approached the city and asked if they would host an annual fishing tournament on or near Connor's birthday in August. It would encourage others to fish and get others interested in fishing and at the same time celebrate Connor's life and his passion. It would be day to enjoy fishing on the lake with family and friends. We moved forward with it and we've had a great response."
Kincaid said the tournament has benefitted from a number of local sponsors, including First National Bank of Omaha in Lake in the Hills, the Free Style Café at the YMCA in Crystal Lake, Beach Shanty and Dave's Bait and Tackle in Crystal Lake. Boy Scout Troop 369 of Lake in the Hills also donated a dozen canoes for those who don't live in the area.
"It should be a great event for family and friends in the community," Kincaid said.
Additionally, the Kincaid family and the village of Lake in the Hills are about to put the finishing touches on a memorial garden area in Connor's honor at Indian Trail Beach.
"We were thinking, what could we do that will be longer-lasting than sending lots of flowers?" Kincaid explained. "The idea was we would create a memorial garden in honor of Connor. It would give back and enhance the community and it would be something that others could enjoy."
The garden, which occupies a 75-by-75-foot green space on the beach property, gained unanimous approval from the Parks and Recreation and village boards.
Dawn Kincaid noted the garden project, which received a building permit about a month ago, already is nearing completion thanks to the efforts of many. Numerous elements of the garden, such as the paver-brick patio, are a tip of the hat to Connor Kincaid's trade-career in hardscaping.
"We had more than 35 volunteers help with the garden," she said. "Unilock (a landscape design company) donated all the bricks. There has been incredible support from family, friends, co-workers and friends of friends."
A garden dedication ceremony for family and friends will take place at 4:30 p.m., Saturday (Connor's birthday). A ribbon-cutting ceremony for sponsors and the village is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 24.
"Everybody can see what this has turned into," Dawn Kincaid said. "It's crazy how quickly this came together. The community really stepped up."
In terms of Saturday's fishing tournament, the cost is $8 per fisherman (or woman) and a light breakfast and lunch are included. Fishing equipment and boats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Preregistration can be done at the Lake in the Hills Parks and Recreation office, online at www.epayillinois.com/Home/ShowSiteLandingPage/2705 or at the tournament site from 7:30-8 a.m. Saturday.
For details, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (847) 960-7460.