Michigan assists with veterans

BRIGHTON, Mich. — The second annual Tips-up For The Troops, a charity bass tournament that benefits combat veterans suffering from a brain injury, was a huge success. The event, at Kensington Metro Park on June 14, was blessed with good weather, good times and good companionship for the 80 veterans and their families in attendance.

 "It was great," says Paul Sacks, president of the Michigan Bass Chapter Federation Nation. "A total of 57 boaters showed up to help take our veterans fishing. Approximately 45 of them were Federation members. When you add in the 17 veterans who own their own rigs, and all the help we received from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, we had enough boats to take everyone fishing."

 The day began with a hearty breakfast provided by Panera Bread, followed by the playing of "Taps" to remember those who have died. Later in the afternoon, after some fishing and the presentation of awards, everyone enjoyed an old-fashioned pig roast and music by local bands and entertainers.

 The response from the community was overwhelming. Everyone received door prizes, and numerous attendees made donations to the Brain Injury Association of America (www.biami.org). One veteran and his family received a furnace and air conditioning system for his house, complete with installation. Another was given a set of hand controls for his vehicle.

 In all, the veterans and their families received $25,000 worth of merchandise as a tribute to their service and sacrifice. More importantly, however, approximately $10,000 was raised for brain injury research and treatment.

 "It was absolutely wonderful. The Michigan Bass Chapter Federation Nation, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan worked hard on this event," said Retired Air Force Maj. Rick Briggs, Veterans Affairs Officer for the association and life member of BASS.

 "But it was a labor of love. We can't wait to do it again next year."

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