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999Inspiredbythebuildingofthewheelchair-accessibleshingpierin1979FishingDerbyhasyearafteryearofferedindividualswithvariousdisabilitiesanopportunitytoovercomethosedisabilitiesforadayofshingboatingandhangingoutwithLionsfrom16differentnorthernIllinoisclubs.Howeverin2006after28yearsofuseitbecameobvioustoLionMikeDreskaofGenoathatthepierhadseenbetterdays.Thepierhadstartedtotwistfromitsfootingswhichhadsettledovertime.Someofthesupportbeamswerealsostartingtorotanditwasjusttimetoxthepier.SowhenthesafetyandreliabilityofthepiersparkedaconversationataGenoaclubmeetingDreskaofferedtotakeonthejobofrebuildingit.ItbecamequiteanoperationDreskaremembersbecauseitendeduptakingustwoyearstonishthedarnthing.RemovingtheoldpierandbuildinganewonefromscratchwasatallorderbutonethatDreskawasdeterminedtocomplete.Therearesomepeoplewhoonceyougivethemajobtodoaregoingtostickwithittotheend.Imoneofthosepeople.DreskateamedupwithneighborandfellowLionJimSanfordtoheadthetaskofremovingandrebuildingtheshingpier.WiththehelpofafewworkersfromShabbonaLakeStateParkandLionsDaveStrykerandShawnEatontheoldpierwasremovedinasingleday.Thenitwastimetogetstartedonthenewone.WhilewaitingforthecementtobepouredthatwouldsupportthenewpierneighborsDreskaandSanfordbegantobuildthepieritselfintheirbackyards.DreskareceivedgrantsanddonationsfrommanyoftheparticipatingLionsclubsaswellasagrantfromtheDeKalbCountyCommunityFoundationanddonationsfromlocalbusinesses.Finallyinthefallof2007thecementfootingswereinplaceandtheLionswerereadytoputinthenewpier.ThelumberwasallcutandDreskahadnumberedeachpieceincorrespondencewithitsplacement.HoweverDreskahadnoblueprints.Theplanswereallupherehesaystappinghishead.Puttingittogetherwaslikeagiantjigsawpuzzle.Itoldthemjusttoputpiecenumber12togetherwiththeotherpiecenumber12.Ididntsleepwellatnightduringthattimeheadmits.BytheendoftherstdaythoughfourLionshadmanagedtolaytheentirebaseofthepierandwerereadytostartontheroof.DespiteworkingfromaplanthatexistedonlyintheirheadsDreskaandSanfordseemtohavethoughtofeverydetail.Thehandrailcapsareattheperfectheightforapersoninawheelchairandtheyareextrawideprovidingplentyofspacetosetdownadrinkandsomebait.TheroundededgesofthehandrailsareapersonaltouchDreskaaddedtobecertainnoonewouldgetbruisedorscratchedrunningintoanedge.DreskaandSanfordmadesureallextraboltlengthswerecutdownandthatthescrewswereallhidden.Theyalsopaidspecialattentiontotheslopeofthefrontofthepiersotheanglewouldbejustrightforwheelchairsandwalkingaids.AftermanyweekendsofworkatShabbonaLaketheprojectwasnallynished.TocommemoratethecompletionDreskatooka2007silverdollarandscreweditintotheboxbeamsofthepier.DreskareturnedtothepierthispastNovembertore-stainitandputupanewcontributorsplaque.Thepierthatstarteditallisreadytohostthenext33yearsoftheFishingDerby.TherefurbishedfishingpieristheheartandsoulofFishingDerbyDayCOMMUNITYThe2006PierRebuildingProject