- This event has passed.
Father/Son Fishing Tournament
June 20, 2011
With the weather forecast predicting thunderstorms on and off all day, and Albert coming a day off his wrist injury just the day before, there was a lot of uncertainty in the air. However, as the guests started to arrive to the Hammond family farm in Williamsburg, you knew that this day was going to be special. God couldn’t have blessed us with a more perfect day for our first annual Father/Son Fishing Tournament. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the Midwest summer heat was nowhere to be found.
As the families approached the lake, they could see the summer sun glistening off the water and the smell of freshly cooked food off in the distance. Cabela’s staff and other experienced volunteers were busy setting up the numerous fishing poles and tackle boxes to make sure that the incoming fisherman were prepared for the exciting day ahead. Former Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi and current Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis were on hand to greet the guests and give them tips as they headed out to the lake. A special surprise showed up just as the festivities were getting underway, the Pujols family. Albert just 24 hours off his recent wrist injury and DeeDee on crutches came to support the fathers and sons and to get some fishing in as well. Eric Mosley, father of 31 year old Emeric, related his astonishment at their presence, “Albert was wearing a wrist brace and he was making sure that we were being taken care of”. It just goes to show you how much this event and Foundation really means to them.
The 35 father-son duos were excited about the opportunity to get out of the city and into the country. As soon as the start was announced there was a rush for everyone to get to their spots. The families were anxious to get their fishing poles baited so they could throw out their first cast of the day. With some families being inexperienced in fishing, sponsor Cabela’s provided fishing experts to instruct the families on how to properly bait, cast, and reel the in fish. As soon as the families were casting out the lines, the fish were biting. It seemed like every 30 seconds you would hear one of the boys laughing about how he just caught a fish. It was truly remarkable to watch these families work together.
The fish that were caught did not go to waste as volunteers went around collecting the catches to fry up and serve for everyone to enjoy. When the families needed to get out of the heat, there was an area to cool down in and plenty of coolers spread out for people to rehydrate. You could sense the competitive spirit amongst some of the boys as they wanted to walk away with a prize.
As the day started to wind down, the fathers and sons returned from their spots along the lake for the awards presentation. Three trophies were handed out: one for the biggest fish, most fish, and for the best story. The best story trophy went to Gary Hemminghaus. It wasn’t your typical, “the one that got away” story, but a prayer and thanking everyone for coming out to Williamsburg to fish and spend time with one another.
A special thank you to Jim, Shelly and Bret Hammond for being amazing hosts. We definitely could not have done this without them. Cabela’s for providing all of the fishing poles, tackle boxes and other gear as well as experienced volunteers. Gina Kelly with Lace Images provided the photography for the day to capture all of the special moments. Also to JED Limousine that provided transportation for the event. The day was a huge success and with such a great turnout, there is anticipation that this time next year there will be a 2nd annual Father/Son Fishing Tournament.