Miracle of Sharing casting for anglers

Miracle of Sharing casting for anglers

April 17th, 2014 by Ron Bush in Sports - Outdoors

Eva VanHook has a wonderful name for her organization's fundraiser Saturday, but she takes no credit for the idea.

Actually, the event was well into planning mode when she was hooked.

VanHook is the executive director of Family Promise of Cleveland, which works to secure temporary shelter and permanent housing for homeless families with children. Family Promise is the beneficiary of the Miracle of Sharing Bass Tournament being conducted Saturday out of Dayton Boat Dock on three area lakes: Chickamauga, Watts Bar and Nickajack.

The tournament committee is comprised of Kyle Johnson from Don Ledford Automotive Center in Cleveland, pro angler Tom Helton and Flowers Bakery director of manufacturing Kirk Gardner, a good friend of Helton.

The project started with Helton approaching Don Ledford Automotive about sponsorship for his fishing season. The conversation expanded to "advertising through an event," Johnson recalled Wednesday, "and once we had the idea of an event, we wanted to make it a charity event. Debbie Ledford Melton, our owner, suggested Family Promise."

Ledford put a team in Family Promise's annual "bed race" fundraiser last year, making its rolling bed look like a car, and won it, Johnson pointed out.

"We started planning the tournament, and then about two weeks later we realized nobody had ever talked to Family Promise about it," said Johnson, who proceeded with that little detail.

Not surprisingly, VanHook agreed to have her charity be part of the project.

"I have learned so much about pro fishing through this process," she said. "They have planned everything out so we can just enjoy it and have fun, but we've made great contacts and great friends, so it's been a really great partnership all around, for sure."

Registration has been held this week at Don Ledford Automotive on North Lee Highway in Cleveland, Towboat US on Highway 58 and Chattanooga Fish N Fun in Hixson. The cost per boat is $100, and entries will be taken until the end of business today at Towboat US and Fish N Fun and until 6 p.m. Friday at Ledford. Anglers can show up and enter at Dayton Boat Dock before the tournament Saturday, but they'll have to pay an extra $25 for the charity.

Launch is set for 6:45 a.m. with the weigh-in at 3 p.m., and big-bass hours are set for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. An extra $10 gets an entrant in both of those, with a prize of $250 for each hour.

If the tournament reaches the goal of 100 boats, the total payout will be $8,500 with $4,000 going to the winning boat.

"It's going well," Johnson said Wednesday. "We have 20 to 25 percent registered, and with our firm commitments that will put us close to the 100 number."

The event also will include a "Reel kids" casting tournament Saturday at 1 p.m. at the boat dock in Dayton, where the Bassmaster BASSfest will be held June 11-15.

For more information see www.miracleofsharing.com.