Bobby Lane High School Cup back this weekend

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Thomas Allen

I’m about as excited and I’ve ever been, and about as tired, too.

The 7th annual Bobby Lane High School Cup (BLC) starts this Friday night, Dec. 1, and it’s bigger than ever.

For those of you who don’t know the BLC is an event put on for our youth. Last year we had around 300 kids. This year we’re looking forward to hosting 350. Every child will get to go fishing on the Kissimmee Chain here in Florida with a boat captain who has volunteered his or her time for the event.

The doings will be hosted by the Bartow Yellow Jacket Fishing Team and the Lakeland Jr. Bassmasters at the Camp Mack River Resort on Lake Kissimmee. 

The official reason for putting this on is to give scholarships to high school students who are involved in the sport of bass fishing. They are facilitated through the Polk Education Foundation because of their participation in fishing tournaments, clubs, conservation on lakes in their area and financial need. Last year’s winners — seven $1,000 scholarships and three $500 scholarships — stretched all the way from Kentucky down to here in Florida. This year our goal is to award 12 scholarships of $1,000. 

However, something like this doesn’t happen because of one man. It happens because way over a 100 men and women get together, work hard and make it happen. I don’t know where to start, but I suppose a thank you to the boat captains is as good as any. They donate everything so that every kid who attends gets to go fishing. That’s no small thing. 

Then we have the food. On Friday night we’ll feed about 150 people. On Saturday that number will jump up to at least 600. That’s a lot of food and a lot of work. Thanks to all. 

And then there are the sponsors. I’m not going to try to name them all. There are too many. But let me say that every one of them is appreciated. They donate the products that go into the goody bags — every kid will get one — as well as all the prizes that are given away. That includes anything and everything related to fishing. And, they make the trophies that we give away possible.

One sponsor I am going to mention, though, is Phoenix Boats. They’re giving us a 919 model to give away. How’s that for commitment.

Now that I’ve said all of that I want to say thanks to my wife, Madeline, and the rest of my family. They’ve worked like dogs to make this thing happen. They’re all in, and that’s one of the things that makes me proud to be a part of them. 

I know that time is short, but if there’s any way any of you are in the area and can help we sure would appreciate it. There’s always something that needs doing. You can’t have too many people around for something like this. 

If you can’t attend, maybe you could send a few bucks to help with finances. You can do so online at bobbylanecup.com. Any amount will help. And, I don’t take a penny for anything. Everything goes into the BLC. This is not about me. It’s about the kids and the future of bass fishing.