Johns Crews has auctioned autism puzzle jerseys the past few years and now is donating by the pound.
Leading might benefit John Crews’ pocketbook, but his weight is going to cost him money.
Crews’ 20-pound, 7-ounce bag leads after Day 1 of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake. He’s hoping it helps secure much more than a top 50, because for every pound he catches, his donation total grows. Crews, a longtime supporter of Autism Awareness campaigns, and running mates Mike Iaconelli and Ish Monroe promised to donate a dollar for each pound of bass they total in the three Elite events in April, Autism Awareness Month.
This moved Mickey Grant and partner George Thomas from Trailer Hook Pal to act. Grant’s teenage son, Joseph, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.
“John’s desire to help people who deal with autism is so touching to me and my family that we decided to match what he, Ish and Mike are doing this month,” Grant said. “Not only will we match what those three are doing, but we are going to include the same dollar per pound amount for the weights of Trailer Hook Pal pro staffers Shaw Grigsby and Mark Menendez as well.”
Grant will be making his donation to the Autism Self Advocacy Network, where Crews also will donate. Crews said he is encouraged by his Elite Series counterparts and people like Grant and Elite emcee Dave Mercer.
“The fact that we are getting support from other people in the industry is what this is all about," said Crews, who had worn special puzzle jerseys in April then auctioned them for autism charities. “We appreciate the type of support and hope this will encourage more to donate and talk about Autism.”
After Winyah Bay, Bulls Shoals/Norfork and now Wheeler, the five angler's performances could bring significant donations. For his part, Monroe said that he is happy to hear others taking part and caring enough to get involved, but he also said that he wants to make sure the donations are as high as possible.
“I love this cause, and my friend’s hearts for it,” Monroe said. “I'm gonna do everything I can to put a nice dent in Mr. Grant's pocketbook.”
Grant answered by saying “Bring it on. This is a cause that is close to us and near and dear to my heart, and I hope they all combine to hit 1,000 pounds; I would love to be able to write that check."
For more information about ASAN, visit them on the web at http://autisticadvocacy.org
BROWNING 95TH ON BIRTHDAY
Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., didn’t get much of a birthday present as he only managed a limit weighing 7-11 to place 95th out of 108 anglers. Despite that, he showed his gratitude for life’s other wonders in a Facebook post.
“If ya want to know how it feels to be 50, then just ask me. Pretty darn good!!! Thank you Lord!!”
BALONEY, HOGWASH, HORSEFEATHERS
Steve Wright spent a lot of time on Wednesday interviewing Elite anglers and came away with this story, “Optimism lacking after Wheeler Lake practice.” Talk was a bag near 8 pounds might be OK.
Then Day 1 hits and there’s a 20-pound bag and 25 guys with more than 15, leading most all the anglers, and Wright, to backpeddle. David Walker’s strongly wordly quote summated the story headlined “It’s official: Practice is baloney!” (He said something close to that.)
Then there’s the quotes, where the guys called each other sandbaggers and liars, and of course, that photo gallery from James Overstreet is called “Overheard: Sandbaggers and liars.”
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Steve Bowman might not have had any Ansel Adams moments Thursday; he was more like Jimmy Olsen -- Johnny on the Spot with help from Superman. Let’s take a look at a couple photos from his on the water gallery.