Third annual benefit open bass tournament seeks anglers

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For the third consecutive year, area anglers, of all skill levels, are invited to cast away their cares and help fund a worthwhile cause, during a leisurely morning and afternoon of bass fishing in July.

To benefit the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia’s Charleston locations, the Davis Creek Child Shelter and the Permanency Program, the third annual Getting Hooked on Helping Children Open Bass Tournament is scheduled to take place from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, at the Frontier Pier on the Kanawha River.

The Frontier Pier is located at 1500 MacCorkle Ave., S.E., in Charleston.

Tournament founder Rodney Cordell is also coordinating this year’s fishing tourney for the third year. A member of the Teamsters Union, Cordell said the union has designated the CHSWV as its charity of choice for several years.

“Every year, throughout the year, we have programs to make money for the Children’s Home Society. It culminates at Christmastime, with a huge blowout with toys and food and money,” the East Bank resident said.

The Teamsters Union has conducted bass tournaments for its members for several years, and, three years ago, Cordell thought it would make a charitable carryover idea for their charity.

The first fundraiser, debuting in 2018, attracted nearly 20 boats and netted more than $7,000, Cordell said.

“Last year, we got up to 30 boats and made almost $12,000,” Cordell said. “We had a lot more sponsors. That’s on the way up, and I like to see it going that way.

“I know this year’s going to be difficult,” he said, “but I think from talking to the Children’s Home Society, regardless if we beat that or not this year, it’s keeping awareness out there about the Children’s Home Society.”

Sponsors have helped supply both money and prizes to give away at each year’s event, and they are also being sought for the 2020 fundraiser.

“I’m sure we’ll have some sponsors, but probably not like in the past,” Cordell conceded. “A lot of sponsors are closed and not working.”

Those who are able to sponsor, he said, will receive their logos on tournament banners and other promotional materials.

And the tournament will follow the mandated safety and health guidelines in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cordell added.

“We’ll have social distancing and masks in the boats,” he said. “A while back, we had a tournament and did all right with that, so we’re going to make sure they’ll have to do that at this one too. Maybe by July it’ll be relaxed a little bit more and won’t be as bad. Whatever the guidelines are, we have to follow them.

“We’re still planning drawings, raffles and some prizes. Last year, we had some kayaks and fishing combos and some things like that. Everybody left there with a smile on their face. Plus, we made sure we went all around Charleston and had some rods and reel combos donated. Any kid that showed up left with a fishing pole.

“We just want to make it into something kids can come to, play some games and get an interest in fishing,” Cordell said.

To sign up for this year’s Getting Hooked on Helping Children Open Bass Tournament, help sponsor or otherwise contribute to the event or obtain additional information, contact Rodney Cordell at 304-545-4287 or flyrod1968@gmail.com.

Founded in 1896, the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is a private, nonprofit agency. The CHSWV provides comprehensive child welfare, behavioral health, social casework and advocacy services, having served nearly 17,000 children and families from 13 designated locations throughout the state in 2019. More information about the organization can be gleaned online at www.childhswv.org.