Over the weekend, The Paganozzi Charities held their first annual big bass tournament on Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Over one hundred anglers competed in the tournament to win $5,000 in cash. The results ended up with angler Joe Watkins winning with a bass weighing in at 4.35 pounds. For Watkins it was a rewarding experience, but in the end, Paganozzi Charities won the event raising over $9,000 to be used to fund sports scholarships for underprivileged youth in Northwest Arkansas.
Pagnozzi Charities Big Bass Tournament was an hourly big bass tournament that paid out $5,000 for 1st overall big bass, $1,000 for 2nd overall big bass, and 3rd overall big bass $1,000 gift card from Ranger Boats. The top three big bass weighed in hourly from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and awarded 1st-$300, 2nd-$200 and 3rd-$100. A number of anglers fishing in the Pagnozzi Charities Big Bass Tournament also won a fishing trip with Bassmaster and FLW Tour Professional anglers George Cochran and Larry Nixon. Rob Kilby, Hot Springs, Arkansas, served as the emceeing the event. Kilbly has fished in both Bassmaster and FLW Tour events.
Anglers were able to weigh-in at three locations on Beaver Lake including Hickory Creek, Prairie Creek and the Dam Site North Park during the tournament, but the final weigh-in and award ceremony was at Prairie Creek following the last weigh-in. Anglers attending the award ceremonies were in for a treat as free hambugers, hot dogs, chips and cold drinks were available for them.
Not only did the angler's entry fees allow them to fish for prize money, but also making a difference in the lives of youth in Northwest Arkansas. Pagnozzi Charities (www.pagnozzicharities.org) was founded in 1999 by former University of Arkansas Razorback Alumni and Coach Tom Pagnozzi. “Pagnozzi Charities is all about making a positive impact with the youth throughout Arkansas providing them with an open door to the same athletic experiences of their peers. My motto is to level the playing field,” said Pagnozzi. Since 1990, Pagnozzi Charities has been providing scholarships to youth through the Pagnozzi Youth Sports Scholarship Program. If the Pagnozzi name sounds familiar it’s because he played his college baseball at the University of Arkansas before moving on to Major League Baseball. Pagnozzi played for the St. Louis Cardinals and received three Rawlings Gold Glove awards during his career.
Pagnozzi Charities are going to use the entry fees from the Pagnozzi Charities Big Bass Tournament to fund sports scholarships for underprivileged youth in k-8 Grade. A number of these scholarships go towards the sports registration fee that is charged to youth joining a team or for equipment. On an average over a 1,000 scholarships are given out every year from Pagnozzi Charities. For more information on the Pagnozzi Charities Big Bass Tournament go to www.pagnozzicharities.org, LIKE them on FACEBOOK or call (479) 443-2550.
One cast made Joe Watkins extremely happy, but this big bass tournament is more than making one angler $5,000 richer. “Although this is the 1st year for the Pagnozzi Charities Big Bass Tournament; we expect even a better one next year. I would like to thank all the anglers that participated and especially to everyone that help organize and run the tournament; who without their help the tournament would not have been such a success,” said Pagnozzi. Pagnozzi is right. This event will make a difference in the lives of numerous youth in Northwest Arkansas and you can be a part of it. Just enter the tournament, grab you’re fishing pole and head out to Beaver Lake.
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