One hundred and fifty-one boats participated in the 11th annual Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR) Bass Tournament on April 25 which raised $35,256 to benefit the unreimbursed programs and services provided by Haven Hospice to patients and families in Palatka and the surrounding areas. This was an increase of 38 boats and $7,000 raised from the 2014 event. A total of over $250,000 has now been raised since the tournament’s inception.
Contestants headed out at safe light while the Family Fun Day hosted by NEFAR began at 11 a.m. Twenty vendors hosted booths for families and fisherman including Reel Fishy Apparel, Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation (FWC) and Lake Area Watersports. More than a dozen teams walked away with cash prizes including Tournament Winners Larry Cahan and David Cahan, Biggest Fish Winner Wayne Martin, and Average Joe Winners Keith Ford and Roger Helm. Stalvey’s BBQ cooked rib and chicken dinners at the event for attendees and donated the proceeds of their sales to Haven Hospice.
NEFAR Putnam Council Chairperson Becky Williams has seen participation more than double since she began organizing the tournament three years ago. “Previously I had no experience in fishing as a sport and now local fishermen are following me on Facebook because I know the results for all of the bass tournaments that are happening.” Williams added the Family Fun Day element to the tournament which has contributed to the overall success of the event. She is also passionate about Haven Hospice because of the care her mother received. “When we found out Momma had cancer, they told her she had three to nine months. She died at home 31 days later, and Haven Hospice was there to help us.” Williams looks forward to being involved in the bass tournament again next year and hopes to continue to grow the event.