Area community comes together to support 4 year old

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2016

The scene at Joe’s Horsehoe Marina Saturday afternoon could be viewed from well down the road on Louisiana 129 in Monterey.

Cars and boats flooded the parking lot of the harbor, as people gathered together to take part in a local fishing tournament while also supporting a worthy cause.

The site was the host of the Casting for Aiden Benefit Bass Tournament, a tournament initiated to help raise funds for 4-year-old Aiden Taunton, who is battling a rare brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

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Event organizers Waylon Book and Brennen Russell said Saturday’s event was a resounding success.

“We’re really pleased,” Book said. “We got the number of boats we were hoping to get and even better.”

Russell said the goal was to have 60 boats, and the eventual turnout was 78 boats.

“There were boats from this area, Mississippi, Texas and all down south Louisiana,” Russell said. “Everybody came together for this little girl.”

In addition to the fishing tournament, there was also a raffle and T-shirts that were sold at the tournament. The T-shirts read, “Casting for Aiden.”

“It just shows that the world is really not as bad as the world makes it out to be,” Russell said. “I think there’s a lot of really good people left in this world.”

The festivities concluded Saturday with a phone call that was played over the loud speakers to Aiden, who was in England for regular checkups and treatments. Aiden thanked the crowd and said, “I love you,” and the crowd responded with an emphatic round of applause and cheer.

Over $5,000 was raised Saturday at the event.

“People in our community have done great things for this family, and (the Tauntons) have done a lot for the community,” Book said. “Collin owns a store in Monterey, and anytime there is a problem, (Aiden’s dad) Collin is always there to help out. Other guys that have had medical problems, Collin has always helped with that. And now it’s him that’s dealing with something like this. I wish there was more that we could do, but we put this together, and we got a good turnout, and we’re very pleased with it.”