JOPLIN, Mo. — An adult and a junior club from the Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (MOBASS) teamed up to spread goodwill to Joplin children, Aug. 6, at the North Park Mall.
Members of the Backlashers Bass Club of Joplin and the KC Junior Bassmasters club, along with Jim Zieger, MOBASS president, set up in the mall for the Joplin Tornado Relief Kids Event, in which they handed out more than 400 rod-and-reel combos along with hats, shirts and tackle.
“Most of the product came from the Tackle the Storm organization that started after the tornadoes ripped through Alabama a few months ago,” said Zieger. “I was contacted by Don Barone, the founder of the organization, to see if the Missouri B.A.S.S. Federation Nation would be interested in helping out by passing out product he had left over from his event.”
“My first call was to Braden McBride of the Backlashers Bass Club, a longtime MOBASS club,” Zieger said. “He found a place to have the event and spent numerous hours working with the local media to publicize it.”
The MOBASS president also talked to members of the KC Junior Bassmasters who decided to make the trip from Kansas City to help with the event. “We had six club members and a few family members along with members of the Backlashers and their families there around noon to set up and distribute product,” said Zieger. Helpers from the junior club were Jimmy Zieger, Tyler Eagan, Charlie Baker, Spencer Rios, Branden Allday and Jason Thompson.
The Backlashers club brought the product over to the mall in three pickup-truck loads. MOBASS sponsors Berkley and TTI-Blakemore also donated some product that was handed out during the kids’ event. Backlashers club members assisting at the event were McBride, Bobby Wagner, Doug Pennington, John Huffman, Nick Ferry and Don Tinder. Tinder was the only club member affected by the tornado. “His warehouse was totaled and his boat was in it,” said McBride.
McBride noticed the kids eagerly accepted the fishing tackle, but some of their parents were leery at first. “There has been an incredible outreach for Joplin, but it was still hard for the adults to grasp that they didn’t have to register for anything and we were just giving it to them free,” said McBride. “We gave away everything we had.”
“Several people came up to me at the mall asking what this was all about, and after I explained the Tackle The Storm, they offered their thanks,” Zieger said.