A local fishing group is raising money to help pay for renovations to the Sam Cox Building in Glenn Otto Park.

The Sandy River chapter of the NW Steelheaders, which holds its meetings at the building each month, is selling its supply of carved wooden fish, which are made from western red cedar.

For $20, buyers can have their names or the name of a loved one engraved on the fish and then get it mounted on the west wall in the building's Great Room.

From each $20 purchase of a fish, $15 will go toward general improvement of the Sam Cox Building and $5 will go to the NW Steelheaders, which also does the engraving.

Art Israelson, river access director for the Sandy River chapter of Northwest Steelheaders, says request forms for the fish will be available at many Troutdale businesses. The donation is tax deductible.

Israelson says the chapter has 1,700 fish, which were made for a planned fish derby last year. The group hopes to sell as many as it can, he said.

'We'll be selling them beyond the Christmas season at all city events,' Israelson says.

The Sam Cox Building, a popular venue for local organization meetings and events, has thousands of dollars in deferred maintenance. The Troutdale City Council has increased the building's rental fees in the past to help pay for its renovation.

Members of the NW Steelheaders spent more than 250 hours remodeling the building's kitchen earlier this year, covering the walls and adding new floors and stainless steel appliances and shelving, Israelson says. The appliances include two new refrigerators, a freezer and electric ranges.

Israelson says the building still needs new floors, bathrooms and a lighting system among other things.

The chapter, which has about 250 members, also cleans up the banks of the Sandy River twice a year, Israelson says.

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