Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fishing tourney honors former outdoorsman, raises youth life jacket awareness

Tournament Saturday at Paola

July 16, 2008

The Heads Above Water Benefit Fishing Tournament will be held July 19 at Hillsdale State Lake in Paola.

The tournament was organized in memory of Shawn Shaw of Edwardsville, who was killed in a boating accident on the Kansas River in April of 2008.

Nick Callaghan, tournament director, said, "I had the opportunity to meet Shawn a few times, and that's all it took for him to make a lasting impression on me and a statement about who he was. He was energetic, amazing, a massive outdoorsman and loved fishing, hunting and being on the water. I wanted to organize this tournament in his memory to promote water safety for children 13 and under. We all know those big, orange, puffy life jackets and we all know that kids don't think they are cool."

All proceeds that are raised at the tournament will go to promote water safety and help to purchase "cool" life jackets so children can get a solid start on learning good habits while around water.

Jim Bell of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated, "Unfortunately, over 6,000 people die from drowning each year in the United States. Life jackets are the number one tool to prevent these unnecessary deaths."

"I am organizing this tournament to benefit water safety education and provide children 13 and under with proper-fitting, 'cool' life jackets," Callaghan said. "With a number like 6,000, if I could bring that number down to 5,999 it would be worth it. The idea is that given a choice, a child will choose a better-fitting, safer life jacket."

The tournament will have three different classes - bass and crappie, catfish and all-tournament. Catfish and all-tournament classes must be registered and checked in by 6 a.m. Bass and crappie class must be checked in by 7 a.m. Registration can be done by phone prior to the event or at shelter house No. 2. Check-in starts at 5 a.m. on July 19.

The event will provide other entertainment throughout the day and will feature prizes, cash awards, raffles and other lakeside fun.

Contact Callaghan at (913) 548-9239 or e-mail him at for further information.


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