Beginning this year, River Hospital’s “A Day with a Fishing Guide“ fundraiser will memorialize local fishing guide and businessman Pat Simpson, who passed away in February. “The Pat Simpson Memorial Day with a Fishing Guide” will be held on Sunday, May 29th. Proceeds will be used to purchase of capital equipment for the hospital.
This popular event has taken place for more than 15 years, raising over $100,000 for River Hospital. This year, nine fishing guides will again donate use of their boats, equipment and fishing savvy. Guide boats will leave Alexandria Bay’s Village Dock at 8:00 AM for fishing. Each carrying parties of four, they will arrive at Morgan Island at around noon for a traditional shore dinner.
A highly experienced guide, Mr. Simpson organized this event for many years. “The Fishing Guide day was very important to Pat,” says his wife, Jennifer Simpson. “His grandfather, Cub Simpson, guided fishing parties through the Thousand Islands for many years, and Pat was proud to carry on that tradition. At first he served both as a guide aboard his boat “Tuesday” and as the event’s organizer. Over the years, he began to feel as though either role required his closer attention. He loved to guide, but wanted to ensure a successful day by focusing his efforts on organization. He even lit the fires for the shore dinner!”
“Pat loved to cook, and made sure that shore dinners were always in keeping with those that Cub served,” she continues. “First, guides cook large amounts of bacon to create enough fat in which to cook the fish. As a result, diners enjoy bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches while guides cook the fish – historically, the fish that were caught that day. After the fish is served, guides use the remaining bacon fat to prepare French toast for dessert. Pat always enjoyed the wonderful smells wafting through the river breeze, and he adored being the “French toast guy”. We are so honored that he will always continue to be part of A Day with a Fishing Guide.”
Stephanie Weiss, River Hospital’s Executive Director of Development, says, “This event has made a huge difference for River Hospital over the years. The Alex Bay Guides’ generosity in giving their time and talent, and Pat’s love of the River and the Hospital are all key to the event’s popularity and success. Holding the event in Pat’s name will be a way to keep him close in our hearts as we continue the tradition.”
To learn more about The Pat Simpson Memorial Day with a Fishing Guide and other events, please contact River Hospital’s Development Coordinator Claire Wakefield at 315-482-4976, or by email at
By Wayne C. Strauss, Contributing Writer