Giving Something Back

About the author

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli

Michael Iaconelli is the only angler to have won the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year and B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

Last week we fished the Kyle Busch Foundation charity tournament on Lake Lewisville near Dallas. I have to say that it was a real fun day on the water. I had the privilege of fishing with Kyle and, while we didn’t exactly tear them up, we did have a great time.

It’s always a fun time to spend a day with someone like him. Let’s face it; he’s at the top of a very competitive and a very dangerous sport. Yet, in the real-world he’s pretty much like an ordinary guy. To steal a thought from someone else, we can say he puts his pants on one leg at a time.

His wife, Samantha, is about the same. She and Becky helped work the auctions while we were out working (fishing) and they did a fine job. There’s more to that than meets the eye. Putting everything out for a silent auction is a lot of work and so is the behind the scenes organization for a live auction. Things went pretty smooth. That’s a tribute to their efforts.

Of course, the real thing we wanted to do was raise money for the Foundation. In case you don’t know, the Kyle Busch Foundation helps less fortunate kids in five orphanages with things like food, safe housing and their day-to-day needs. That helps them be kids and learn to be good adults. In the process, some of them get to go to watch Kyle race in NASCAR events, and he makes sure they have a Christmas.  

His interest and dedication to the cause came out of a trip to a children’s home in Grand Rapids, Mich. What he saw there really moved him. And, instead of just writing a check like a lot of guys do, he got involved. He gave the most valuable things he has — his time and his name. It’s a heck of a program. Becky and I are proud to be a small part of it.

It’s easy to think everyone lives the way we do. I don’t so much mean from a material point of view but, rather, from a family point of view. Most of us take love and safety for granted. Unfortunately, not everyone is in that position. It’s all of our responsibility to help those kids experience something better.

There are a lot of those types of charities around. I encourage you to get involved with one if you possibly can. You never know when you’re going to turn a life around and make a big difference. If you want to work with Kyle’s, you can get more information at KyleBuschFoundation.org.

After that was over, I spent Friday working with sponsors and then it was off to Tulsa, Okla., for the opening of a new Dick’s Sporting Goods. I like to do stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun because everyone is fired up about fishing. It’s cool to see guys who love the sport the way I do.

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