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  • stephencambron


Middlesboro, Ky – When one thinks of the first Saturday in May many things come to mind. For Lincoln Memorial University its spring commencement. For horse racing fans the annual running of the Kentucky Derby at Church Hill Downs in Louisville. But for a small group of area men, and many sportsmen and families throughout the area, the first Saturday in May has been the start of the ROHO Fishing Tournament on Norris Lake for more than four decades.

In 1965 a group of area men got together and formed an organization geared to serve their communities. Specifically, the club decided that helping needy children would be their cause, and that group chose ROHO as the organization’s name. During that same year the organization took five area children on a shopping spree in December buying them clothes and toys. with proceeds raised from the fishing tournament held earlier that spring during the first weekend of May.

Now, more that 50 years since the first ROHO Fishing Tournament the organization has evolved to help more than 350 needy children yearly from five area counties, and three states through proceeds raised by this annual event, and the “Sponsor A Child Program”. The monies raised through ticket sales for the event will be spent equally this December on various children selected by teachers and administrators from Bell, Claiborne, Lee, Harlan and Union County elementary schools, as the neediest children in their schools.

Although the two-day event has been held at several marina’s on Norris Lake throughout years, over the past four decades its headquarters have been Beach Island Marina in north Union County and getting underway on the first Saturday morning of May at eight o’clock and ending at 2:00 p.m. the following afternoon. First and second place cash prizes are awarded each year to contestants catching the biggest fish in the Largemouth, Smallmouth, Rockfish, Walleye, Crappie, Bream/Sunfish/Shellcracker, and Catfish Categories, with all prize money given away for each of these categories being donated by area businesses.

This year’s tournament is set to get underway at 8:00 a.m. Saturday May 4th at Beach Island Marina, with tickets on sale through closing of the event. Admission for the family-oriented tournament is $5.00, which gains the holder admission to fish the event, and makes that person eligible for a host door prizes to be given away on Sunday afternoon following the tournament’s close at 2:00 p.m. For additional information regarding the 2019 ROHO Fishing Tournament, or how you can help an area needy child, visit the organization’s website at, or find them on Facebook at Roho Charitable Trust.

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