Group protests ‘Gigging for Grads' fundraiser in DeKalb Co. - WSMV News 4

Group protests ‘Gigging for Grads' fundraiser in DeKalb Co.

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Gigs for Grads will occur Friday night on DeKalb County waterways. Gigs for Grads will occur Friday night on DeKalb County waterways.
SMITHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Hunting frogs to raise money for scholarships is a novel way of sending young people to college.

Some people think it hurts far more than it helps.

Gigging for Grads, sponsored by the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers, raises money for DeKalb County graduates.

Organizers said it's a unique way for raising money for scholarships, but protesters said they're killing animals for fun.

“It's a fundraiser for an agricultural scholarship,” said Leigh Fuson, one of the event's organizers.

The Nashville Animal Advocacy group has lead the protest on the annual event since its inception.

“Basically you take spears and you stab the frog with the spear,” said Tricia Lebkuecher, with Nashville Animal Advocacy. “As you can imagine, not everybody thinks that's a great idea. I think it sends the wrong message. That what's fun is killing another living being?”

This is the third year the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers have held the contest.

Participants catch up to 15 frogs. Whoever's bucket weighs the most wins a cash prize.

“It's like a fishing tournament,” said Fuson. “Again, we're eating them. We're not just going out there killing them for sport.”

Organizers said they've had hundreds of people participate in the past and raised enough money to give out several scholarships.

The protesters said there are better ways to raise funds.

“We offered various scholarship alternative ideas for this group. We've offered them money,” said Lebkuecher. “We have an entire scholarship fund for them on GoFundMe that we were going to give them.”

The hunt is scheduled for Friday night.

“They're welcome to come out and voice their opinion,” said Fuson. “We've had them the last two years. We're already friendly with them.”

Registration is under way, but the action won't get going until after nightfall when the frogs come out.

It will end at 1 a.m. when the weigh-in is held and the winner will be announced.

The scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall.

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