Middlesboro Daily News
By: Joe Asher
The ROHO club's annual fishing tournament took place on Saturday, with an excellent turnout helping to make this year's tournament a success.
Alex Cook, one of the organizers of the event, said the day count not have turned out better for a fishing tournament.
"We had the best weather, what felt like the most turnout, and probably the most boats bringing fish in to weigh as any tournament I can remember," Cook said. "We didn't do an official head count, so it's really hard to say how many boats were fishing. But it was a spectacular turnout and a wonderful day for it."
Cook explained all the proceeds have not been counted yet because they are still coming in.
"As they are still coming in, I do not have an official total," Cook said. "I've started the process of counting tickets and we're just shy of 9,000 now, but we have more to count."
Each ticket was purchased for $5, according to a previous report.
Cook added last year approximately 10,400 tickets were sold.
"My gut tells me it's bigger this year," Cook said.
Cook said this year looks to be on track to possibly being a record year for the tournament. He explained the organization has used the funds produced by the tournament to take approximately 350 children on a Christmas shopping spree the last several years.
"We really can't set the number until we know the success of the tournament, but based on everything, we're planning to take approximately 350 kids again this year," Cook said.
Cook explained each child selected receives $110 worth of clothing, $40 worth of toys and a new pair of shoes. The shopping spree is held in December at the Wal-Mart in Middlesboro.
"We have tremendous support in our communities," Cook said. "There's definitely a passion for helping the kids."
Cook mentioned ROHO member Eddie Beeler sold approximately 1,025 tickets this year. He added there were a record number of sponsorships sold this year.
To sponsor a child, the cost is $150.
"You get 30 tickets, most people take the tickets, some don't," Cook said. "You would sponsor a child to ensure that one child is covered completely."
ROHO member Bill Dean set a club record this year for sponsorships, selling 80 sponsorships which equals 2,400 tickets.
"I don't know if that record's going to be broken, and it sure won't be broken easily," Cook said.