In 2005, the Black Bear Rod & Gun Club members were having their last meeting of the fall season. The group was dreading the thought of a long Maine winter with no Club activities. One member then made a comment that the Club should hold an ice fishing derby. The idea was presented to the St. Agatha Town Manager who was enthusiastic about the project. With seed money, as well as support, from the Club and the Town, the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department was contacted for appropriate permits and regulations. In January 2006, the first derby was held. The popularity was overwhelming and plans were made to continue on a yearly basis.
With the success of the Derby, came the issue of what to do with the proceeds? The answer was easy, the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund. The establishment of the Fund had been the dying wish of a 21 year old boy from Frenchville who lost his life to leukemia. The Fund had been established by his family to help pay travel expenses for any St. John Valley resident needing cancer treatments outside the Valley. Over the years, the Derby has given $100,000 to the Fund.