Delta Bank Classic to be on St. John today

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 25, 2009

VIDALIA — Delta Bank in Vidalia has always been a supporter of Relay for Life, but when bank president Cliff Merritt was diagnosed with cancer last year, the employees decided to step their involvement up a bit.

Merritt is an avid fisherman, so the bank decided that a fishing tournament would be the best way to raise some money for the relay.

So the first ever Delta Bank Bass Classic was born.

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The tournament will take place today on lakes Concordia and St. John. Weigh-in will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Vidalia Home Hardware Center parking lot.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” tournament marketing officer Ouida Pecanty said. “We’ve always been involved in Relay for Life, but we wanted to turn it up a notch and do a spectacular event this year.”

Pecanty said she expects between 50 and 70 boats to participate in the event and hopes to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 for Relay for Life.

Top prize for the tournament is $3,000, and there is a $500 prize for the largest bass caught. People can either fish single or in a two-person team. Fishing hours are from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pecanty said several teams have already signed up, but she expects many more to sign up before the tournament begins.

While this is the first time for the bank to put on a bass tournament, Pecanty said it will be an annual event.

“We may even expand the tournament to Lake Providence,” she said. “We’re happy that we can put on a fun event for such a good cause. I hope everyone has a good time, and we hope to raise a lot of money for cancer research.”