Good fishing for a good cause: Four Rivers hosts fishing event

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 19, 2001

Two weeks from now, Jerry Lewis will host his annual telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Corporations and individuals donate money to MDA, which then uses the money to treat children with muscular distrophy and supplies grants for research for finding a cure.

Locally, money is raised by holding events such as bowl-a-thons, golf tournaments or collections at grocery stores.

McCartney Oil, based out of Jena, decided to collect money in a different way. For the past two years and continuing this year, McCartney Oil, a distributor for Citgo, has sponsored &uot;Fishin’ For a Cure&uot; at the Four Rivers in Jonesville. David McGuffee, operations manager at McCartney Oil, helped come up with the fishing tournament idea when the company decided to help raise money for MDA.

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&uot;I said everybody does a golf tournament. Let’s do a fishing tournament. Bass fishing is big around here,&uot; said McGuffee.

McGuffee and McCartney Oil made the right decision. In the tourney’s first year, 26 teams participated, collecting $9,000. Last year, the event had 48 teams and took in $12,000. McGuffee said more than 60 teams will be angling for the top bass prize of $1,000. Twenty-four of the original 26 teams took part in last year’s event and will do so again this year.

&uot;It’s been a success,&uot; McGuffee said. &uot;It’s not anybody’s credit, except to the guys that come out here and fish in the heat.&uot;

McGuffee said 360 people in central Louisiana and the Miss-Lou have been diagnosed with some form of muscular dystrophy. A MD clinic was built in Monroe just a while ago, and Alexandria is getting ready to open one. Prior to the Monroe clinic opening, in some cases, patients had to travel to Houston for treatment.

McGuffee said money collected from the fishing tournament stays in central Louisiana to help patients. The national MDA gets only a small portion of the money.

&uot;It works for this area,&uot; McGuffee said.

The big prize this year is a fully-rigged Triton 2002 bass boat, which has a retail value of $18,000. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Bryan’s Marine in Vidalia throughout the rest of this week. The winner will be drawn at the tournament. Every participant will receive a gift bag.

McGuffee said he thought the heat would be a problem by hosting the event at this point of the year.

But anglers told him to keep the tournament for the last weekend in August so it won’t coincide with other tournaments and so they come count on &uot;Fishin’ For a Cure&uot; to be at the same time every year.

Bryan’s Marine is also a sponsor of the tournament.