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By Zoie Koostra
Pathfinder 

Maddox Helms Kids' Fishing Tournament for the First Time

 

Pathfinder file photo

Bobby Maddox hopes to continue instilling the love of fishing with the annual Kids' Fishing Tournament.

SEELEY LAKE- Seeley Lake's annual Kids' Fishing Tournament is passing into new hands this year as Bobby Maddox takes over as the event's organizer from Gary Ikerd who began the event in 2002.

Maddox and his wife moved to Seeley Lake two years ago after he retired from the military. Last year he volunteered at the tournament. He decided he was willing to take on the work to continue putting on the tournament after Ikerd began to lose his eyesight.

"[Ikerd] approached me last year and asked me if I was interested," Maddox said. "Gary's still helping me this year but next year he'll probably be out of the picture."

Maddox, who has five children and eight grandchildren with a ninth on the way, said some of his fondest memories of his own childhood include fishing with his dad and he wants to pass on that love to children in the community.

"We just want all the kids to come because it really is about the kids having fun," he said. "My dad taught me to love fishing when I was probably six years old. If you teach a child very young how much fun it is to do stuff like this, it'll stay with them the rest of their lives."

For Maddox, the most difficult part of organizing the tournament so far has been fundraising.

"Fundraising in a small town is always kind of tough, you know. The people in this town are very generous, but it just requires you to go around to each small business and ask for a donation," he said.

Last year, 47 children participated in the tournament and Maddox expects there to be approximately 50 this year as well. However, the high volume of family members requires extra planning on his part for the event's barbecue.

"It's around 50 kids but then they bring their parents and grandparents for the free barbecue afterwards and then you're talking maybe 100 people," Maddox said.

Maddox expressed his desire to help with the tournament as a way to be part of the community in Seeley Lake.

"When we moved here, we just decided since we were gonna be Seeley Lakers, then we wanted to contribute to the town. We're just looking for opportunities to give back to the community and this presented itself so, like I said, I love kids and I love to fish, so it's a perfect thing for me," he said.

The tournament will start at the Big Larch Boat Launch June 23 beginning at 8 a.m. with lunch to follow at Cory's Valley Market at 11:30 a.m.

 

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