Fish for local scouts this Saturday

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

People can bring their fishing tackle to Johnson’s Gardens in Suffolk this Saturday to raise money for local Scouts.

The Broken Oar Foundation’s 2018 Bass Fishing Tournament and Auction will be held from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday at 3201 Holland Road. The event is free to attend for those not competing in the tournament.

Entry into the catch-and-release tournament is $30 per person and $10 for children ages 12 and younger. The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. right after registration with competitors on the shorelines of six different ponds at the Johnson family farm. Judging will be based on the cumulative weight of the two heaviest fish per competitor.

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The first-place prize is $250, second place is $100 and third is $50. Children will compete against adults, but there will also be prizes just for them.

“We’re going to go out of pocket to make sure anybody 12 and under walks away with something,” Jett Johnson, president of the Broken Oar Foundation and co-organizer for the event, said in a phone interview.

The silent auction will begin at 10 a.m. and feature local artwork, handmade jewelry, gift baskets and other items donated by local businesses. Hamburgers and hotdogs will be served off the grill at 11 a.m. free of charge, although donations are encouraged.

This will be the sixth year for the bass fishing tournament to raise money to support Boy Scouts in the community. The Broken Oar Foundation was founded by the Johnson family in memory of Thomas J. O’Connor IV, who died in May 2013 at the age of 36.

Jett Johnson said his brother was an avid outdoorsman, and like many others in his family, O’Connor was an Eagle Scout.

“It meant a lot to him, and I think he would have been overwhelmed by all of this support,” Johnson said.

About 200 people attended the tournament last year, and the Broken Oar Foundation has raised more than $75,000 so far for Scout families to afford summer camp, uniforms and other expenses. Johnson said the goal is to reach $100,000 by 2020.

“Year by year, we’ve just been utterly overwhelmed by the support,” he said. “It really shows what this community can do.”

Search “Broken Oar Foundation 2018 Bass Fishing Tournament & Auction” on Facebook, call 651-7717 or email jettrjohnson@gmail.com for more information.