‘Telethon’ during Bassmaster event on Mille Lacs to aid fish and wildlife employees in Florida, Texas
A number of scenarios will play out this week during the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Lake Mille Lacs.
The most important of which has nothing to do with fishing.
While the year-end championship – Thursday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 17 on the central Minnesota smallmouth bass-fishing haven – will crown the angler of the year and determine berths in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, it also could go a long way toward helping game wardens, fisheries biologists and other personnel in the fish and game departments in Texas and Florida.
They were among the first responders in the back-to-back catastrophic hurricanes that slammed those two states. After they worked to rescue people, many returned to their homes to find them severely damaged or destroyed.
B.A.S.S. announced Thursday, Sept. 14 that it is launching a fundraising “telethon” via its live shows to assist those fish and game types. According to B.A.S.S., more than 100,000 fishing fans will tune in for the shows, which are streamed on bassmaster.com throughout this week and on WatchESPN from 7-10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. (The 50 anglers will take a break from tournament competition Saturday to participate in a special expo and conduct seminars for Bassmaster University at Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia, again the tournament host.)
During the live broadcasts, hosts Tommy Sanders and Davy Hite will interview Elite anglers and B.A.S.S. Nation members from Texas and Florida, including some who used their own boats to rescue people stranded in the floods, according to a B.A.S.S. news release Thursday. Those who tune in to the Bassmaster live shows will be given directions on how they can donate to the relief efforts.
Also, contributions to a fund set up by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida can be made at www.fishwildlifeflorida.org/irma/. The Texas foundation has set up two funds: the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Employee Relief Fund (www.tpwf.org/employee-harvey-relief) and the Restoration of Natural Resources Fund (www.tpwf.org/resources-harvey-relief).