Jim Heier Veterans Fishing Derby (2020 Event Cancelled)

Every June, the Vernon Hills Police Department hosts an event known as the Jim Heier Veterans Fishing Derby. The occasion, which is held at Big Bear and Little Bear Lakes, is named after the late Vernon Hills Trustee Jim Heier. The 2019 Derby was held on Sunday, June 23.  Other than a fairly brief shower, the weather was mostly cooperative.

Approximately fifty veterans from the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago were brought in for several relaxing hours of fun and a barbecue lunch. Experienced or not, it doesn't matter as there are always plenty of knowledgeable VHPD personnel and other volunteers on hand to make sure that everyone has fun. Each participant receives a goody bag at the beginning of the event. The festivities conclude with an awards ceremony and raffle.

The Jim Heier Fishing Derby is another way that the Vernon Hills Police Department thanks Veterans for their service to our country. Anyone who would like to assist in any way at the next Derby is asked to contact Andi Hoppe at andih@vhills.org.

Enjoy these pictures from the 2019 Jim Heier Fishing Derby:

The bus filled with our honored guests arrives.

Bus arriving
Bus unloadiing

The reception line.

Line of Honor

A couple young queens assisted with handing out the backpacks.

Handing out backpacks


Chief shaking hands

Some guests chose to eat first.

Fishing from dock
Fishing 1

"Mmmm. Which pole to use."

Fishing 3

"I think it got away."

Fishing on bridge

Did he know it was a fishing derby? As long as he enjoyed himself. That's all that counts.

Lying on grass

Each veteran received a bacppack filled with goodies.


Checking in.

Checking In
Selecting a pole
Golf Cart with Fisherman
Fishing 2

Thank you to all the queens for assisting.


A brief rain didn't stop anyone from having fun.