Selma Area Food Bank holds first bass tourney

Published 11:00 pm Monday, April 3, 2017

The Selma Area Food Bank held its first Bass Fishing Tournament on Saturday at Roland Cooper State Park, but it definitely won’t be the last one.

The food bank held the tournament Saturday as a way to raise funding for the nonprofit organization, which covers Dallas, Perry, Wilcox and Marengo counties. A total of 39 teams took part in the competition, and the food bank was so pleased by the turnout and support that it’s already scheduled next year’s event.

Jeff Harrison, executive director of the Selma Area Food Bank said he doesn’t know how much money was raised yet, but that the connections gained ended up being the most beneficial part of the tournament.

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“Monetarily, I have no idea [what was raised] but the biggest triumph we felt like we had were the number of new people we met and the exposure the food bank gained in that particular county,” said Selma Area Food Bank executive director Jeff Harrison. “We’re constantly trying to enlarge our area and broaden our footprint in those particular counties and this particular event did an outstanding job of doing that very thing in Wilcox County.”

Butler’s Mike Norwood and Tate Boykin won the tournament with a total of 17.44 pounds and took home the first-place prize of $2,000. Norwood and Boykin also won the big fish competition with a catch of 5.09 pounds.

Valley Grande’s Rickie Knight and Jones’ Mike Smedley finished second with a total of 17.07 pounds.

The tournament also included high school teams, which competed for prizes like a new rod and reel. Morgan Academy’s Tyler Smith and Charles Henderson High School’s Tyler Ward won the high school competition with a total of 4.54 pounds.

Harrison said many people came out to support the food bank.

He said several people heard about the tournament on the radio and stopped by just to give a donation, while others decided to hang out and cheer on the fishermen at the weigh in.

“It’s very moving when you see the compassion that comes out in people when they know you are in the area, they hear you there,” Harrison said.

Harrison said the tournament is already booked to take place next year at Roland Cooper State Park April 7, 2018.

“We’re encouraged that next year will be even bigger and better,” Harrison said.