Fishing tournament rallies community together for 4 year old

Published 12:07 am Sunday, June 5, 2016

Traveling down Louisiana 125 in Monterey, signs litter yards throughout the winding, country road.

“Strong is the new pretty,” they read. “Aiden’s Army. Defeat DIPG.”

The signs are a symbol of a close-knit community that has rallied together to support 4-year-old Aiden Taunton, who is battling a rare brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

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At 2 p.m. Saturday at Joe’s Marina in Jonesville, the Monterey community will demonstrate its strong support with a bass fishing tournament.

“Waylon Book and I were talking and trying to think of a way we could help, and we decided on this,” event organizer Brennen Russell said. “The family is really good people, and they have always been the first to help someone out in the community, and we wanted to find a way we could help.”

In addition to the fishing tournament, there will also be a raffle. Russell said many local businesses and supporters have donated items ranging from generators, ice chests, fishing poles and more.

“Everybody I’ve talked to, they’re excited about it,” Russell said. “They’re all looking forward to it. I have had people I never met before from Alexandria, La., and Jena, La., that have called me and are coming up, wanting to help.”

Russell said the Louisiana State Trooper Association has also donated over 100 T-shirts that will be sold at the tournament. The shirts read, “Casting for Aiden.”

“This means everything,” Aiden’s mother Megan Taunton said. “We never have to ask for anything or worry how we’re going to get the money to pay (to help treat Aiden’s condition). It’s just been a big blessing.”

Megan said the fishing tournament is a testament to the loving support the community has shown her family throughout.

“There is no better place than this community,” Megan said. “There are so many families that are going through this same thing, and they don’t come from a community like this. They have to ask or scrape together funds to have treatment done. We’re just incredibly blessed.”

Entry fee for the tournament is $60. For more information, contact Russell at 318-421-1111 or Book at 318-421-0312.