Missouri anglers support soldiers

Photo courtesy of David Smith
Members of the Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation raised $1,300 for POW/MIA families and wounded warriors by hosting a tournament on Truman Lake.

WARSAW, Mo. — Missouri B.A.S.S. Nation (MOBASS) members showed their support for military veterans and wounded soldiers by participating in the Cass County Elks Lodge Veterans Benefit Bass Tournament, Aug. 23, at Truman Lake.

The fifth annual buddy tournament drew 54 boats from Central Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. The number of boats was “down just a hair,” said David Smith, Westside Bassmasters president, who coordinated the event for the Elks Lodge.

The Elks Lodge donates 100 percent of the net proceeds for this event to the National League of POW/MIA Families and Wounded Warrior Project. Smith said this year’s tournament raised about $1,300 which was down a little bit because of the lower turnout.

A new feature of the event was an invitation for active duty wounded soldiers from Fort Riley, Kan., to compete in the tournament.

“We received a grant from the Elks Foundation to take the soldiers out,” Smith said. Seven soldiers fished all day in the 100-degree heat while paired up with volunteer boat captains. Among the boat captains were two-time B.A.S.S. Nation Championship qualifier Brian Maloney and fellow MOBASS anglers Paul Willette and Harold Stark.

Smith helped conduct the weigh-in, alongside Westside Bassmasters members Tim Biondo, Troy Richter, Paul Perez, Junior Brown and Sean McBee.

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