Hooked On Decatur
Annual Team Bass Fishing Tournament

Hooked On Decatur Team Bass Fishing Tournament: This was a new event that Rising Sun Lodge #29 developed, hosted and sponsored on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Several brothers in our lodge have served or are still serving in the military were looking for a way to give back to the community and support the Wounded Warriors coming back from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. So Rising Sun Lodge rolled up their sleeves and did something about it. Thus the Hooked On Decatur Team Bass Fishing Tournament was born. We then built a website www.HookedOnDecatur.com to promote the event. Brother Kevin Hazelleif, Brother Rob Quinn and Past Master Paul Lamont chaired the committee. They decided that the Wounded Warrior Project would be the best benefactor of this event. Our goal was to bring awareness to our Wounded Veterans and awareness to the community that our lodge was committed and engaged in charity for those in need. We wanted to raise as much money as possible and donate 100% of the proceeds to "The Wounded Warrior Project", which is a program designed to help disabled veterans and their families with hospital, travel, and even living expenses. Putting on a bass fishing tournament is no easy task even for the professionals, but we were able to reach out to the community and consult with people who could help us. We enlisted one of the lodges’ friends who works with the local newspaper, sports columnist Paul Stackhouse, who gave us some great advice on drafting the rules, regulations and event specific expectations. Brother Kevin took care of the tournament’s ins and outs by building PowerPoint presentations for the lodge, flyers for the event and advertising on bass tournament websites. Brethren took the flyers and distributed them throughout the region at boat ramps, North Alabama restaurants, bait stores, large sports chains like Bass Pro, Gander Mountain and Academy Sports. We advertised on multiple bass fishing websites, Alabama Outdoors (the State of Alabama’s game and fish website) and through TV interviews. We scheduled Ingall’s Harbor, the event location, which has been home to numerous National Bass Master Tournaments. On Wednesday July 18, 2012, Brother Kevin Hazellief, himself a Wounded Warrior, was interviewed by WAAY-TV Channel 31 in Huntsville. This very impressive interview addressed the physical, mental, social, and economic concerns of our returning Heroes from Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Brother Rob Quinn, also a veteran, interfaced with the Wounded Warrior Project events staff to apply and receive permission to hold this event using the Wounded Warrior Project name. They also provided us with an events page on their website www.WoundedWarriorProject.com. The WWP assigned us a regional representative Joseph Caley who supplied us with plenty of WWP magnets, pins, stickers and ball caps to distribute to the public for advertisement. Mr. Caley also put us in touch with three Wounded Warriors that were going to attend and fish in the event; Mr. Zack Golfus who was Marine and served in Iraq, Mr. Eric Love who was a Marine and served in Iraq and Mr. Jason Scarborough who was in the Army and also served in Iraq. Brother Paul Lamont anchored the committee by consolidating and bringing the tournaments sponsors and donations together to support this worthy cause. This event would have not been possible if Brother Lamont did not pursue the sponsors and numerous donations from outside the lodge. His effort did not go unnoticed. The day of the event was exhilarating. We started bright and early at 0400 in the morning. Boat teams were already lined up and ready to go. The schedule was going to be tight, but manageable. First register all the teams, conduct a brief safety meeting and then launch all the 20 boat teams. Altogether, we were the largest Wounded Warrior Project event in North Alabama and the only WWP fishing event in the region. The teams caught 134.18 lbs. of fish in eight hours. Volunteers from multiple lodges helped during the weigh in. We had 14 Tournament Sponsors, $2500.00 in giveaway items for the raffle after the tournament and $2600.00 in cash donations. World famous artist and member of Rising Sun Lodge, Brother Michael Schreck donated a signed artist proof print of his The Coming Storm to be auctioned on eBay and the proceeds earmarked for the Wounded Warrior Project. CLICK HERE to be re-directed to his website to see this beautiful painting. On December 26, 2012, a bid of $200 won this eBay auction and we received payment via PayPal. The videos for this event were embedded on the Rising Sun Lodge website and a link was sent to all email recipients. Brother Rob Quinn was also interviewed the day of the event by WAAY-TV Channel 31. One of our Wounded Warriors, Jason Scarborough, was interviewed on-the-water the day of the tournament. We were extremely proud that we could do this event for those brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. This event brought us closer together as a lodge and to our community which gave us the opportunity to share our deep compassion for the Wounded Warrior. 2nd ANNUAL HOOKED ON DECATUR - Saturday, March 12, 2013. CLICK HERE to be redirected to our FaceBook page and take a few moments to enjoy our contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project in the pictures and in the video below. The 3rd ANNUAL HOOKED ON DECATUR was held Saturday, March 29, 2014. The following is a brief summary of the event and the final numbers are still coming in.
Over $15K has been donated to the Wounded Warrior Project for the 2014 event.
27 units of blood (pledged, donated and on account) were accredited to the Jimmy V. Copeland Memorial Blood Drive by LIFESouth.
77 boats entered the tournament. 41 Wounded Warriors were in boats. Morgan County Rescue Squad answered a vessel in distress call and no one was injured.
The US Dept. of Veterans Affairs was in attendance in their Official touring bus.
The Morgan County Chapter of the Alabama Cattlemen's Association grilled delicious ribeye sandwiches and a portion of the sales went to the Wounded Warriors.
There were three Gold and Silver Level Sponsors; Stem & Stein, Lynn Layton and Complete Dental.
Few children ventured out during this foul weather and only 2 were ID'ed.
The Girl Scouts set up a tent and sold cookies.
WDRM 102.1 recorded several public service announcements with Brother Rob Quinn and broadcast them on air on all their subsidiary stations. On the day of the tournament they interviewed Brother Kevin Hazellief and WHNT did a remote recorded broadcast.
Other broadcast and publication media include Southern Fishing News, WHNT Website Article, Decatur CVB Press Release and ABC 33/40 Birmingham Syndication.
Online promotion on the event include the HOD Website (http://hookedondecatur.com/), Facebook (Facebook.com/Hookedondecatur), Youtube Channel (Youtube.com/profile?user=pauljlamontYT), Suzie Whitt Photography (http://www.studiosew.com/events/fishingtournaments/contents.htm), and numerous fishing websites including Crappie.com.  
WAAY 31, WHNT & The Decatur Daily covered the weigh-in and awards presentation. Dignitaries present were Congressman Mo Brooks, Senator Arthur Orr, Jeremy Oden, Public Service Commissioner, Major General Crosby and CSM Glidewell, Decatur Mayor Don Kyle and Jantzen Fraiser Family. 
 

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