The Ike Foundation announced today the names of the winners of the foundation’s first–annual scholarships awards, according to Mike Iaconelli, professional bass angler and president of the foundation.
Winners are Josh Soroka of Arlington; TX, Bradley Gumtow of Neenah, WI; Brittany Farrar of Paris, Maine; Perry Marvin, Jr of Peru, NY, and Hunter Eaton of Cedar Bluff, VA. All have grade point averages over 3.2 and are headed to college in the fall, as required for consideration for the scholarships.
Foundation trustees conducted a blind review of the 100+ high school seniors who applied. Applicants submitted essays about lessons they learned from their fishing experiences, along with references, grades, and information about extracurricular activities. Trustees scored submission using a pre-defined point system.
Money for the scholarships came from donations and fundraising events held by the Foundation. A benefit dinner in New Jersey in January raised much of this year’s scholarship funds.
The Foundation also announced three upcoming events:
- A free kid’s fishing event, Ike’s Hook 'Em Early Kids Fishing Tournament, May 7 at Haddon Lake Park, NJ. Two hundred children, aged 15 and under, along with their parent chaperones are registered to compete for prizes based on the total length of the fish they catch. Fishing slots filled quickly, and registration closed early. All ages can enjoy fishing, food, games, coloring, and a reading of Amir’s Big Catch by the author Sheila Jones.
- The second annual Ike Celebrity Benefit Dinner, Friday, July 7, 6:30-11:00 pm, on the Battleship New Jersey in the Camden Waterfront Harbor, Camden, New Jersey. Many of the professional bass anglers taking part in the next day’s event attend the dinner and talk with guests. An auction of donated items, from jewelry to sports memorabilia, takes place during the evening. Tickets, which cover food and drink, are still available.
- The second annual Ike Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament, Saturday, July 8 at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, New Jersey. Amateur anglers pay an entry fee to fish with a pro, fish from their own boats, or fish from a kayak to compete for prizes. The kayak division is new this year and sponsored by Hobie. The first place winner of the boat division will receive a brand new BassCat boat, and the winner of the kayak division will win a competitor’s spot and paid expenses to the Hobie Worlds. The free Family Fun Fest will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on the Camden Waterfront. All attendees are welcome to stick around for the tournament weigh-in.
Last year, the first Pro-Am Tournament was met with great reception from the community and bass fishing industry. Almost 20 professional bass anglers and celebrities joined in the competition. Fun Fest attendees enjoyed such family-friendly activities as carnival games, auctions, music, and food, along with visits to the nearby Camden Children’s Garden and Battleship New Jersey. Every child that attended the event walked away with a brand new Flambeau tackle box and enough free tackle to fill it. Through the 2016 Pro-Am, the foundation was able to ship gifts of fishing equipment to approximately 30 youth community organizations.