Opportunities Inc. Big Bass Classic Fishing Tournament to be held June 24-25.


The 26th Annual Big Bass Classic Fishing Tournament, benefitting Opportunities, Inc., will be held at the Four States Fairgrounds on June 24-25. The tournament was postponed from its earlier, original date due to lake levels, and has been scheduled for this last week of June.

“We had to postpone the tournament at the advice of local lake officials because on the original date of the tournament the levels were very high. Lake officials were concerned about the safety of the anglers, and of course that is always our main concern as well,” explained Opportunities Executive Director, Melanie Gloster.

According to Opportunities Inc. Executive Director, this much awaited tournament is one of the major fundraisers held to raise funds in order for Opportunities to continue services in the community. “We raise funds through participants entering the tournament, we also have our Big Bass Blast and a silent auction and raffle tickets,” explained Gloster.

This Big Bass Classic has had great response from the community of Texarkana in all of the years it has taken place. Just last year, over 350 people fished the tournament and over $30,000 in cash and prizes were awarded. “When people invest in Opportunities, they are investing in our community. The reason we’ve been able to do this tournament for 26 years is because people have supported it, and we know that there are lots of events to support so we appreciate the community choosing to support Opportunities and this tournament.”

“All of the money that we raise through our fundraising efforts stays in this community. So if we have a successful event, the money comes back to Opportunities and that helps us do therapies for children, day services for children and adults, work training for adults with disabilities, as well as a Senior Day Center for adults with medical needs such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia. The money we raise help us to provide the services in this community that are needed,” said Gloster.

During this Big Bass Classic, participants can fish their choice of Lake Wright Patman or Lake Millwood on Saturday.

Over 300 participants are expected to take part in the event, with a grand prize of a Tracker Bass Boat or $10,000 cash and a championship ring from Crocker’s Jewelers; pay out to 10 places. Additional cash prizes will be awarded for even weight prizes.

“Fishermen can fish at Wright Patman or Millwood, on Saturday. The Fisherman Headquarters will be at Four States Fairgrounds,” said Gloster.

Also taking place on Saturday is the 3rd Annual Little Big Bass Kids Derby at the lake at Ferguson Park. It is FREE for children 12 and under. “We will have this free kids derby starting at 9:30 in the morning. All participants get a t-shirt and the winner gets to walk the big stage at the weigh in. It’s really neat to see all the kids with their fishing poles, having a good time, and once again it’s something that doesn’t cost them anything. When we get to see the joy on their face when they catch something, that’s what makes everything worth it,” said Glover.

Winners of this Kids Derby will walk across the Main Stage prior to the Big Bass Classic weigh-in. Check-in is at the small pavilion on the lake, and fishing begins at 9:30am. Register for the derby at www.oppinc.org.

The Big Bass Blast Registration Party & Auction will be held at the Four States Fairgrounds Indoor Arena on Friday at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public, with catering by Naaman’s Championship BBQ. Fun for the kids will include face painting and bounce houses, and Bradford Marine, Rothwell Marine and Gregg Orr Marine will have boats on display. A huge silent and live auction will be held.

Major sponsors of the event are: Bradford Marine & ATV, Rothwell Marine, Gregg Orr Marine, Domino Federal Credit Union, Naaman’s Champion BBQ, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Cooper Tire, Crocker’s Jewelers, Diamond City Trailers, Heritage Church, United Steelworkers Unions, TAC Energy, TDS Erectors and Townsquare Media.

Entry forms can be picked up at Bradford Marine and Baits-N-Blades, or register online at www.oppinc.org. Early Registration is $70; after June 21, registration is $80. For more information, call (903)791-2270 or email development@oppinc.org

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