A surge Monday night saw Port Alberni, B.C. jump out to a huge lead over Nestor Falls in the World Fishing Network’s “Ultimate Fishing Town” contest.
After running neck-and-neck with the West Coast community for much of the day, organizers in Nestor Falls were shocked to see that Port Alberni led by thousands of votes when they awoke yesterday morning.
“They delivered a big one-time vote late last night [Monday],” noted Maureen Hanson, who first nominated Nestor Falls for the online contest and has been spearheading the local vote drive.
“We really need residents in the region, even for a one-time-only vote, to go to the website if they have an e-mail or multiple e-mail addresses and deliver us the same kind of punch,” Hanson said.
“That’s what we’re really going to need.”
Voting is set to close tomorrow (Sept. 30) at 4 p.m. local time after the initial deadline of Sept. 28 was extended late last week.
The closing date was pushed back because of a technical glitch that hampered the contest website at www.wfn.tv/ultimate-fishing-town/
It was taken down late last Wednesday and rebooted Friday morning.
While Hanson and her volunteers were able to take some time away from the computer while the contest website was down, she noted the benefits of the break vanished as soon as it was rebooted.
“We were able to recover somewhat, although when it did ramp up again, it ramped up twice as hard,” she explained.
“We were able to rest, but it’s been 24 hours a day since then that the team of volunteers that we have have been dogging it.”
Hanson has been keeping an eye on how the competition has been positioning itself, observing that Port Alberni has moved itself beyond its own borders, making its appeal province-wide.
“It’s now a B.C. versus Ontario thing. That’s how they’ve really portrayed it out there and that’s how we want to deliver our message, as well,” she stressed.
“We are definitely going to need some help from the region. From Thunder Bay west is what we need.
“If it was a battle yesterday, today it’s a war, and that’s how the region has to look at it,” she reasoned.
Even though Nestor Falls was trailing by some 7,500 votes as of press time this morning, Hanson felt she and her team still has the magic to be able to pull off a remarkable comeback.
“Having to come from behind now, it’s going to be a sweeter victory when we do beat them,” she remarked.
“We are going to do this,” she vowed. “It doesn’t matter if we’re going to come from 10,000 votes behind, we’re determined to carry this off.
“It hasn’t deterred us at all—we’re just more determined.”
Hanson reiterated that even though Port Alberni has been able to tap into the support of Canada’s third-largest city (Vancouver), Nestor Falls can stay strong with the backing of some smaller communities.
“We’re just hope the region will get as angry as we were when we got up this morning [Tuesday],” said Hanson.
“They [Port Alberni] might have Vancouver in their back pocket, but that doesn’t mean that the little towns in Northwestern Ontario can’t fight back, too.
“If you haven’t been voting, we understand, but we are calling on you for a one-time vote,” she pleaded.
“Please try to deliver it for us.”
The winning community, to be announced next week, will receive a $25,000 donation and also be featured in a 30-minute special produced by WFN.