BRACEVILLE, Ill. – Exelon’s Fish-ing for a Cure raised a record $57,500 for the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Illinois. The event was held Saturday, May 18, at Braidwood Lake.
“We are so grateful for Exelon’s generosity and to have been a part of this amazing fundraiser,” said Beth Alderson, manager of special events for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter.
The funds raised from the event will help the Alzheimer’s Association in its mission to advance research, as well as provide and enhance care and support for all affected by the disease. Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only one among the top 10 without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.
With the proceeds from the Fishing for a Cure event, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter will be able to provide training for 100 support group facilitators; enable Chapter staff to provide 90 Care Navigation appointments to low-income families; provide 40 educational audio conferences for those in rural areas or those with transportation issues; and cover the costs associated with a half-day educational seminar.
“I am very proud to be a part of this,” said ESPN’s Chauncey Niziol, who served as the tournament host. “It has been great to watch the event continue to grow and to see the great impact it’s had on the supported charities.”
One hundred, two-person teams from around the Midwest competed in the tournament. Dave Sanders and Pete Banach of Monee, Ill. took home first place and the $4,000 top prize.
Their three-fish total of 9.18 pounds was best in the tournament field. Banach also landed the tournament’s biggest bass, weighing in at 3.45 pounds.
Coming in second was Mitch Deland of Plainfield, Ill. and Danny Marcolini of Joliet, Ill., as they caught 8.66 pounds and won $2,500.
Third place was snared by Nate Wellman of Newaygo, Mich., and Sam Harmon of Ottawa, Ill. Wellman, who is a Bassmaster Classic Angler, and Harmon fished on a sponsored team for the charity and donated their $1,000 prize.
Other teams shared the remaining $2,500 in prize money.
More than 80 young anglers had the opportunity to compete in their own fishing derby held at the Godley Park District pond.
Winners in the 5-and-under group were Tanner Garish of Braidwood, Ill. (first place), James Wyatt of Joliet, Ill. (second place), and Grace Olsen of Coal City, Ill. (third place).
Winners in the 6- to 8-year-old group included Paige Michalec of Braidwood, Ill. (first place), Ethan Mann of Braidwood, Ill. (second place), and Daniel Wyatt of Joliet, Ill. (third place).
In the 9 to 12-year-old group, first place went to Brendan Wiggins of Godley, Ill. Bobby Mann of Braidwood, Ill., took second place, and Galvin Whelchel of Braidwood, Ill., took third.
Michalec also snared the longest fish (25 1/2 inches) of the children’s derby. Broden Alexander of Braidwood, Ill. hauled in the shortest fish (6 inches).
More than 40 volunteers, including employees and family members from Braidwood Station and the Reed-Custer High School Casting Comets staffed the event. Braidwood Station employees Brian Daniels and Steve Friddle served as weigh-in officials.
“Our employees at Braidwood Station and Exelon Corporation are proud to be able to help these wonderful organizations who are doing important work in our community,” said Braidwood Site Vice President Dan Enright. “I’d like to thank the many local businesses that supported us, and Nate Wellman for making the long trek from Michigan to fish for the charity.”
All proceeds raised through tournament entry fees, raffles and sponsorships go to the recipient charity, which are selected annually by station employees. Organizations and businesses contributing to the cause included “D” Construction, Berkot’s, Belgio’s Catering, Monical’s Pizza, and T&C Anglers and Antlers.
Since its inaugural tournament in 2002, “Fishing for a Cure” has raised more than $300,000 for local and regional charities. Last year’s event raised $48,000 for four Braidwood area food pantries.
Braidwood Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station’s two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts at full power – enough electricity to power more than 2 million typical homes.