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Exelon’s fishing derby boosts fundraiser total to record $65,000

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:49 p.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
ESPN’s Chauncey Niziol hands Jacqueline Dodge, of Wilmington, her prize for reeling in the most fish in her age division of 5 and under. Dodge also snagged first place for catching the most fish in the tournament.

BRACEVILLE – Exelon’s Fishing for a Cure tournament raised a record $65,000 for the Coal City and Diamond Tornado Disaster Relief Fund. The total represents donations from the April team bass fishing tournament and the kids fishing derby held Saturday at Godley Park.

“This has been a great day,” State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said in a news release. “Fishing for a Cure is a great event that brings families together while promoting a cause that benefits the entire community.”

The money raised will help the more than 240 homeowners and business owners affected by the tornado that swept through the Coal City and Diamond communities last November.

Fifty kids, ranging from ages 2 to 12, sought bragging rights for the most fish caught and the biggest. Jacqueline Dodge, of Wilmington, caught the biggest fish, a 22-inch catfish. She also snagged the trophy for most fish caught in her age group with five. She competed in the 5-and-under age category. Rounding out her age group, Mason Gardner, of Custer Park, reeled in four fish, with Matt Ericks, of Morris, catching three.

In the 6 to 8 age division, Tina Ericks, of Morris, took top honors, snaring six fish. Second place went to Katie Oleniczak, of Plainfield, and Lance Cuddy, of Coal City, took third.

Auston Kap, of Lockport, netted first place in the 9 to 12 age division, catching eight fish. Destiny Dodge, of Wilmington, took second, and Jace Shaw, of Coal City, took third place.

The honors for smallest fish, 5 inches, went to Micah Ludvick, of Bourbonnais.

“Fishing for a Cure provides much needed help to the local community and allows kids to have a good time fishing,” ESPN’s Chauncey Niziol, who served as tournament host, said in the release. “The kid’s tournament is another reflection of Exelon’s strong commitment to the community. I am proud to be associated with the tournament.”

All proceeds raised through the tournament go to the recipient charity, which is selected annually by station employees. Organizations and businesses contributing to the cause include D Construction, Berkot’s, Belgio’s Catering, CB&I, Demark, Inc., Monical’s Pizza and T&C Anglers and Antlers.

Since its inaugural tournament in 2002, Fishing for a Cure has raised more than $365,000.

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