Bassin’ with an NFL flavor

While taking a short break between Elite tournaments, my wife Sherry and I have been busy working on the Detroit Lions/Kevin VanDam Charity Bass Tournament coming up in June.

This is shaping up to be a premier charity event, especially for anyone who loves the NFL and Detroit Lions as much as I do.

The event will happen June 12 at Kensington Metropark on Kent Lake near Novi, Mich. It’s a special kind of tournament that brings together current and former Detroit Lions players and coaches; head coach Jim Schwartz; Elite pros such as Tim Horton and me; TV personality Mark Zona; some of the area’s top bass anglers; and corporate sponsors.

There are two ways to participate:

  1. Sign up as a three-man team ($1,500) and use your own boat and equipment
  2. Sign up as a premier team sponsor ($3,500). Premier teams will have boat, equipment, and a guide provided for them, and a Detroit Lions player will be assigned to their team. The sponsor chooses the other two members of its team.

Several companies have signed on as premier sponsors but we still have room for a few more that want to participate in this great fundraiser.

The Lions players are as thrilled with this project as I am. Several of the top players, including wide receiver Calvin Johnson, have signed up for the 4-hour tourney that runs from Noon to 4 p.m.

Bass Pro Shops is the title sponsor; Carhartt, from nearby Dearborn, Mich., is the presenting sponsor who also will offer three big bass prizes. Several of the companies with whom I work, including Oakley, Plano and Mercury/MotorGuide, are premier sponsors. Humminbird, Strike King, Hydrowave and Quantum have kicked in with some top-notch prizes for the winners.

All of the proceeds will go to the charities but the top five teams won’t go home empty-handed; they’re eligible to win numerous tackle and outdoor merchandise prizes.

Also, each participating team member in the event will receive an authentic tournament jersey made especially for the event.

While the project is designed to raise money for both the Lions’ and my charities, it will be a great Lions/bass fishing VIP experience.

B.A.S.S. is not only providing its weigh-in stage for the festivities but the contest will be handled by B.A.S.S.’ professional tournament staff and emcee Dave Mercer will conduct the weigh-in. Also, The Bassmasters TV production crew will film the event.

Contestants will get VIP treatment, to include a breakfast before the tournament, lunch, a closed meet-and-greet with pro anglers and NFL players, and an evening dinner.

You can sign-up and get more information at my website, or at the Lions’ site,

It will be a great opportunity to mingle with NFL stars who share a similar passion for fishing and in a private environment.

And, best of all, you’ll help a good cause. Lions’ charities benefit the children and youth of Michigan while my fundraising activities are earmarked for youth fishing projects, March of Dimes and other child-related organizations.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

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