Annual Sandy Ridge Bream Tourney set for May 12

By Staff
April 27, 2001
Saturday May 12th is a day many area children are looking forward to. That's the day that Frank and Evelyn Tillman open their lake to kids. The annual Sandy Ridge Bream Tourney started out 12 years ago as an experiment. Frank Tillman had been talking with Roger Carlisle, a local bait and tackle distributor, about the problem he was having with small bream in his lake. Carlisle suggested putting on a bream tournament to help alleviate the bream problem while also giving area youngsters a chance to catch some fish and have fun as well.
Community support
Although Mr. Tillman had some reservations about sponsoring a tournament, he agreed to try it for one year. The rest, as they say, is history. Needless to say the tourney has been a resounding success for the Tillmans and everyone involved. In fact it has turned into a labor of love for Mr. Frank and Ms. Evelyn. Although a lot of work went into lining up sponsors and planning the initial tourneys, Tillman stayed with it and now has an impressive list of local sponsors who help make the tourney a success year after year. In a time when a lot of people are complaining about nothing to do in our area, it's refreshing to see people like the Tillmans and the many sponsors and volunteers working to make the tourney a success for the children. These folks are truly putting kids first.
The tournament hours will be from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon. Three age brackets have been established, which will allow all ages of children to compete and win prizes. There will be 4 winners in each bracket as follows: pre-school, 6 through 10 years, and 11 through 15 years of age. The bait will be restricted to live bait only.
Another benefit
Although the children have a lot of fun and catch a lot of fish during the tourney, there is another benefit derived from it. The only entry fee required for the children is to bring 2 items of canned goods. Those canned goods are then donated to Wesley House and The Baptist Crisis Center. So in addition to giving the children an opportunity to get outdoors and do a little fishing, they are also helping with a worthy cause.
If you haven't been out to the Tillman's event, you have surely missed a treat. Don't miss out on an opportunity to spend some quality time with a child while having fun and making some memories. If you don't have a child or grandchild there is probably one you know just waiting for a chance to go fishing.
So don't delay. Invite a child to go with you to the tournament. You might be glad you did!
E-mail Mike Giles at mgiles17@msn.com

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