Bass Times: Fishing For A Cure

Alabama's B.A.S.S. club members efforts to help kids with cancer has become a statewide cause

James Bright

Birmingham, Ala. — One Birmingham Bass Club member's efforts to help kids with cancer have turned into a statewide cause for the Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.

Every time James Bright visited the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital for medical treatment, the Federation Nation member saw the kids at the UAB Children's Hospital afflicted with cancer and wished he could do something for them. So when he was struggling in a tournament one day, he started thinking about those kids. Then, he saw some fish on his graph. Bright started catching fish that helped him finish in the money that day, and he decided to donate his winnings to Children's Hospital.Over the years, Bright kept donating his tournament winnings to Children's Hospital and eventually found three other Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation members — Eddie Plemons (Alabama's president), Bruce Sargent and Clay Morris — to join the cause."I knew Eddie and the Federation Nation would be glad to help us with it," recalled Bright.The foursome started Fishin' 4 A Cure (F4AC) and appointed Sargent, a fellow Birmingham Bass Club member, as the charity's board president. "I knew he would grab hold of this idea and take it somewhere," said Bright."All the money we raise goes straight to Children's Hospital," added Plemons.

Some of the F4AC programs include a Hooked on Smiles Program, in which a network of volunteer fishermen take pediatric cancer patients and their family members on guided fishing trips; a Day at the Lake, which provides pediatric cancer patients and their families a chance to enjoy a day at a private facility that has stocked fishing lakes; and the Airport Marine Sponsors Bonus program that makes every Federation Nation angler a member of the F4AC team and eligible for tournament bonuses if they donate $100 to the charity.Other F4AC projects in the works include an annual charity tournament and a fundraising competition among Alabama B.A.S.S. Federation Nation clubs with a goal of raising $120,000 annually.



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