DECATUR, Ala. — Crowds congregating at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Ala., for the final 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series regular-season event, June 16-19, 2011, are in for an exciting weekend: They’ll witness the hoisting of the Dixie Duel trophy; the crowning of the 2011 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year; live concerts; and on-site family-friendly festivities. They will also have the opportunity to support United Way’s Disaster Relief fund. The goal is to raise $25,000 in donations for victims of the tornadoes that ransacked the state of Alabama this past April.
Event planner Traci Little Etheredge of Trinity, Ala., initiated this rebuilding effort for Alabama by calling upon 12 bands, whom she says were “ready on the spot” and willing to help, to form the Family Jam Music Fest.
After receiving a donation of $3,000 from Toray Carbon Fibers America Inc. to help victims, Etheredge enlisted the help of United Way and the Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau to make the Family Jam Music Fest possible.
“I had contacted Tami Reist at the Decatur CVB for information on a good location for my event,” said Etheredge. “She informed me that the Bassmaster tournament was happening the same week, so a light bulb went off in our heads about merging the two events.”
“It will be a good way that we can give back to the community,” said Reist, president and CEO of the Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “They’re going to get to experience fishing if they’re here for the music,” she said.
Beginning at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday, June 18, and at noon (CT) Sunday, June 19, the bands will perform a series of free concerts, and United Way workers will be at the event with donation buckets.
In addition to the 12 bands, Bishop Black, Southern Comfort and country music sensation Colt Ford will also perform free, live concerts immediately following Sunday’s weigh-in.
Several organizations have jumped in to help make this event a success. Hartselle Sporting Goods will be selling T-shirts. Epic Church and Trinity Baptist Church will be selling balloons and glow sticks, and all the proceeds will go back to United Way. Pepsi has made a generous donation of its products at no charge. Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers are working the Pepsi trailer, and donations will be collected for back-to-school supplies for children who’ve lost homes and supplies.
Thirteen of the 99 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers currently live in Alabama. Many of them have experienced the devastation in some capacity, and others have already contributed to the recovery efforts.
“We’re excited that our own Don Logan will be here,” Reist said. She’s lined up several speaking engagements for the recently named Distinguished American Sportsman for 2011 by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He’ll be speaking to the Rotary Noon Club on June 13, from Noon to 1 p.m.; the Decatur Chamber of Commerce on June 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and the Decatur Kiwanis Club on June 16, from Noon to 1 p.m. In addition, listeners can tune in to WDRM 102.1 to hear Logan’s live interview with Dan & Dingo, June 14 at 6 a.m. (CT).
“Decatur is a great location for this prestigious Elite Series event,” said Logan, a Birmingham resident and one of three owners of B.A.S.S. “We’re proud to work in conjunction with the rebuilding efforts of the state. B.A.S.S. originated in Alabama, and it’s always great to come home.”
Bassmaster Elite Series Dixie Duel boats will launch daily at 6:45 a.m. (CT), and weigh-ins will begin at 3:15 p.m. (CT) at Ingalls Harbor, 701 Market St. SW, Decatur, AL 35601.
To learn more about the free concerts and activities happening throughout the weekend at Ingalls Harbor, click here. People who would like to make contributions toward the goal of $25,000 for Disaster Relief in Alabama can call United Way at 256-353-6643.
2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2011 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Luck “E” Strike, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ramada