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BUCKEYEone

organizing a tourney for 2009

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I work for the Red Cross as a Health & Safety and Disaster Services Manager for two counties here in Ohio.  We currently do an annual golf outing as a fund-raiser and way to get out and meet people in the community.  I'm tired of golfers, I want to set up a Red Cross fishing tourney for 2009.  I have, of course, never organized a tourney before and would like to get some input from the great folks here at BR.  Any tips, advice, referrals would be great.  Thanks guys!

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I don't have any expertise in setting one up but if I were you, I'd hit the local tackle shops and get the big tourney fliers and start calling the folks that set them up... you'll probably get a lot of free advice (especially when you tell them it's a charity tourney for the Red Cross) just be sure to pick a date that they don't already have marked.  

I bet LBH and Art from C.A.S.T. would have some good info.

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Get the word out, to all the fishing clubs, and sporting goods stores in your area. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise.  Most radio stations will do free spots, for fund raisers like this.  Especially if they get to promote their station during the tourney.  

Make sure you have enough volunteers for support logistics, so you can go fishing too!   :D

Make sure you are using some sort of certified scale if there is prize money involved.  Anglers as a whole are pretty good guys, but when money gets involved, some can turn nasty over a hundredth of a pound, lol.

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My suggestion would be to look around for a local club or small money tour in your area, these folks alread know how it's done and would most likely be appreciative of the publicity they could generate.  Great idea, but it can be a challenge.  Especially if you have never done something like this.

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Suggestions to consider.

1.  Advertise at all local sporting goods stores and bass clubs plus TV and radio since you are a nonprofit.

2.  Have scales.  This may be a problem so try to get some from a local bass club.

3.  Keep rules simple.

4.  Keep off-limits areas to a minimum.

5.  Have a bar-b-q or hot dogs and hamburgers after the event.

6.  Anyone can enter with one or two people in their boat but they still pay the same amount, like $80 per boat.

7.  Consider having a separate Big Fish Pot.  This will be $5 of the entry fee so you may want to go up to $85 or $90 per boat if you do this.

8.  Have a handout with your cell phone number in case there are problems while on the water.

9.  Have a crew ready to help with entry forms and fees; checking the live wells; and then handling the weigh-in.

I am sure other guys will give you additional tips so use the ones that make sense to you and your organization.  :)

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