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Bass tourney for Special Olympics

August 26, 2008 at 03:57 PM

NORMAL, Ill. – Professional bass fisherman Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., is hooked on Special Olympics. He is teaming up with Special Olympics Illinois and the Law Enforcement Torch Run to host the 3rd Annual Chad Morgenthaler Bass Tournament presented by Jasper Engines & Transmissions on Sept. 20 and 21 at Rend Lake in southern Illinois.

The weekend includes the two-day buddy team format tournament, Beat the Pro fishing contest and a chance to win great prizes. Professional fishermen participating include Morgenthaler and other Ranger and Professional Anglers Association pros. 

Morgenthaler is a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and has several FLW Top 10 tournament finishes. He became involved with Special Olympics Illinois in 2005 when he donated a day-long fishing trip as part of an online auction sponsored by the organization. Special Olympics athletes were on hand at Crab Orchard Lake in southern Illinois to see Morgenthaler and the auction winner begin their fishing trip. That experience led to Morgenthaler’s interest in hosting a charity tournament for the organization.

“I was inspired by the courage and enthusiasm shown by the Special Olympics athletes,” said Morgenthaler. “After talking more with Special Olympics Illinois, we agreed a fishing tournament would be an exciting way to introduce the organization and its athletes to a previously untapped audience of fishermen.”

“Immediately after the first year’s tournament, fishermen were asking us when the next one would be. We knew we had struck a chord with fisherman and decided to make this an annual event,” said Morgenthaler. “We hope to make it the largest charity fishing event in the state in the future.”

The fishing tournament is limited to the first 150 boats to register. The $200 entry fee per boat includes the big bass pot. There is a $10 procrastinator’s fee for entries received after Sept. 12. Each angler receives a T-shirt and goodie bag full of tackle. Last year’s tournament raised $32,000 for Special Olympics Illinois.

Registration for the tournament is from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Rend Lake Resort, the official housing site for the tournament. A pre-tournament meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the resort. The meeting includes dinner, an auction of great fishing items and a meet and greet with the pro anglers. Rend Lake Sailboat Harbor is the launch site for the tournament.

For entry forms or more information, contact Jeff Henson at Special Olympics Illinois at 800-394-0562, email him at jhenson@soill or visit

Chad Morgenthaler, 41, has been a professional bass fisherman since 2002. He is sponsored by Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Ranger Boats, Yamaha Motors, Reaction Innovations, Lunker Lure – Hawg Caller, Svanda GM Motor Group, Fenwick Rods, Solar Bat, Lowrance Electronics, Power-Pole, Nameoki Village Marine, Abu Garcia, Trilene, Plano Tackle and Minn Kota.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes ages 8 years and older with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family support.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

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I’ve been working with the same 4 guys for 15 years,and two of them really enjoy fishing.They love it when they get to spend the day outdoors,from fishing,walking the trails,to eating lunch in the duck blinds down at Banner"after shooting hours”.This is the first that I’ve heard about this,but will check more into it.

Thanks for the report

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/26 at 07:12 PM

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