Annual Tournament to Benefit Cullman Autism Families
Every so often in our little corner of the fishing world, a more than worthwhile tournament, for a more than worthwhile cause comes along. We anglers are used to tournaments being held to help raise money for a variety of causes. Usually, the people putting the tournament on would be better off simply soliciting donations for their cause due to the amount of work involved and the lack of participation. Saturday, November 5th on Smith Lake is NOT going to one of those times. The First Annual Angling for Autism Bass Tournament scheduled for Saturday, November 5th from Smith Lake Dam, is destined to be a huge event year in and year out thanks to the tournament organizers, local business support and willing anglers.
“My son Brenten is six years old and at the age of three he was diagnosed with Autism. For last couple years we have been members of a great group of people at Cullman Autism and Special Needs Family Support Group, and we couldn’t think of a better way to help out the group for all they do, other than do what we know best and put on fund raising event in the form of a bass tournament to help the group that helps so many other people” said tournament organizer, Wesley Sams.
Sams says his dad, Roger Sams, originally had the vision of doing a great tournament as a fundraiser in order to help out the group and bring awareness to something that affects so many local families in our areas. “We want to raise money for the families that don’t have the family support or access that my son has” said Sams. “We are fortunate to have a strong family bond with plenty of help and support, and not all families are as fortunate and we simply want to help this group, help others” said Sams.
“I can’t say enough how proud I am of the local businesses that have stepped up to the plate to donate money and their time to put this tournament together to be a huge success for one great group of people” Sams stated. Autism is something that touches practically every family in our area. Even if your family has been spared from it, you probably have a close friend or neighbor that deals with an Autistic family member on a daily basis. Several local business here in Cullman realized the need for this support group and have helped to make this tournament an early success. Major donors to the tournament are McElroy and Associates, Pepsi, Wal-Mart Distribution, My Way Transportation, LazyBoy, Cullman Savings Bank, Mitch Smith Chevrolet, Striker Timber, Premier Bank, Cabin Fever, McGriff Tire, Bill Smith GMC, Fairview Superette, Walker Brothers, Cullman Auto Mall and Alabama Coal Cooperative.
Anglers can sign up the morning of the event at Smith Lake Dam for an entry fee of $135 which includes big fish. First place winners will receive $5,000, 2nd place pay $2,000 and 3rd place will win $1,000. There will be fun for the entire family at the Dam launch all during the day with bouncy houses for the kids plenty of food available for donations. Weigh-in provided by FishLife with first flight due in at 3pm.