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Maplesville Athletic Club to hold first bass tourney

Published 11:26pm Friday, March 22, 2013

The Maplesville Athletic Club is venturing into uncharted territory in more ways than one as it prepares to hold a bass tournament at Lay Lake on Saturday, April 6.

Not only is the event the club’s first fundraiser bass tournament, but it is also the first bass tournament to be held by a school-related group in Chilton County.

“We found out that no school in Chilton County had ever tried to put one on before,” club member Vickie Smith said. “The athletic club is always trying to find ways to raise money to do repairs on equipment. There are lots of folks around Chilton County and surrounding areas that hunt and fish, so we started asking around and people said, ‘You know, that is a good idea for a fundraiser.’”

Smith said the club hopes to raise enough funds from the tournament to cover the cost to repair a well and well pump that are part of Maplesville’s sprinkler systems used to water the grass on the baseball and football fields.

“The lowest bid we’ve gotten would be about $12,000,” Smith said. “That right there is not something that the school or the school board or the state would cover because it’s not a necessity for the school to run.”

The club could also use tournament proceeds to purchase uniforms, equipment and other items for Maplesville athletic teams.

“It costs a lot for parents if they have to pay out of pocket for stuff their child needs for sports,” Smith said. “They need our help, so we want to raise money for them.”

The tournament will start at first safe light the morning of April 6, and participants will launch from a public boat ramp at Beeswax Creek, located next to Beeswax Bait and Grocery (25747 Highway 145, Columbiana, 35051).

Smith said several club members will be at Beeswax Creek starting at 4 a.m. to man the registration table.

Those wanting to participate can register now or wait until the day of the tournament to register, but those who register that day must pay with cash.

The entry fee is $100 per boat with two fishers. Payout is guaranteed with a minimum of 10 boats.

Smith said 16 boats are currently registered for the tournament.

“We would be happy with 30-50 boats,” she said. “That would be great for us.”

Incentives to compete are the prizes: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $300 for third place, $200 for fourth place and $100 for fifth place.

Prize money will come from sponsorship money the club has already raised, but Smith said additional sponsors are welcome to contribute.

All boats must be back at Beeswax Creek by 3 p.m. for weigh-in.

If 50 or more boats participate, the boats will be released in order of when they registered for the tournament in flights of 25 for safety reasons.

Concessions will be sold at the registration area for tournament participants and visitors.

Registration forms are available on the Maplesville Athletic Club’s Facebook page, from any Maplesville athlete or from local businesses including T’s Gun and Pawn and The Fishing Hole, both in Clanton; Buck Wild in Thorsby; H&H Boat Sales in Jemison; and M2 SouthernLink and Maplesville Farm and Home, both in Maplesville.

For more information, call James and Vickie Smith at (334) 366-2939.

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