The inaugural Tackle the Storm benefit took place on July 2, 2011, in Cullman at a small park lake with Bassmaster Elite Series anglers Steve Kennedy, Randy Howell, Matt Herren and Keith Poche helping to distribute rods and taking time to fish with the children.
“If you are a member of a B.A.S.S. club, or for that matter any kind of fishing club, in a small town, and you know kids who won’t be able to get to the city of Moore on July 27 — if you’ll come and tell us how many rods and reels you need, we will give them to you to take back to the children of your community,” Barone said. “We really need to reach as many of the children in the small towns outside of Moore … the small towns that may be overlooked but who need help … if anyone knows of a child in a small town that lost their fishing stuff do to the tornado, please let us know, and I will guarantee that we will get a rod and reel into that child’s hands.”
The goal of the project is straightforward: Get children who love to fish back on the water or teach those who want to learn the basics of fishing. Barone realizes the effort won’t restore everything to the way it was before the storm hit Moore and surrounding areas, but it will be a day for a kid to just be a kid.
“Recently I was asked if I thought that Tackle The Storm Foundation could possibly change a child’s life by giving them a fishing pole,” Barone said. “I understand the skepticism. But I answered the question by saying, ‘I don’t know if it will change their lives, but I can tell you, it will change their day.'"
Buck Thomas Park is located at 1901 NE 12th St.. More information on the event is available at www.cityofmoore.com/moore-fishing-derby and www.tacklethestormfoundation.org.