Bassmaster Classic Teams Up With Owasso Charity To Help Families Of Vets

Tuesday, February 19th 2013, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

The Bassmaster Classic starts in just a few days on Grand Lake.

The tournament is teaming up with a charity based in Owasso to help the families of wounded servicemen and women get a college education.

The Bassmaster Classic has been called everything from the Super Bowl of fishing to the Daytona 500 of fishing, but Major Dan Rooney has another name for it.

"It's like the space shuttle landing here in Tulsa this weekend, what an exciting event," Rooney said.

He has reason to celebrate. Major Rooney is founder and President of the Folds of Honor Foundation. It provides scholarships to the families of servicemen and women who were killed or injured in the line of duty.

Its big fundraiser is a Memorial Day golf tournament, and it's raised more than $20 million for 4,000 people in the last five years.

Folds of Honor is the charity of choice for this week's Bassmaster Classic.

2/19/2013 Related Story: $5 Million Boat Launch Facility Prepared For Bassmaster Classic

Rooney will pass the bucket during Friday and Sunday's weigh-in at the BOK Center. He hopes to raise more than $100,000.

"One thing you know for sure is the anglers and the fans that follow the Bassmaster Classic, they're fanatical," Rooney said. "They love our country, they're not afraid to put God and country in the same sentence, and those are our kind of people."

Rooney said another project is to get the Folds of Honor Foundation as the official charity for B.A.S.S., so wherever it goes, whatever city, whatever tournament, so goes the Folds of Honor Foundation.

He said nearly 90 percent of the families, who have had a loved one either killed or injured since 9/11, do not get federal assistance for their education.

It's those people, he said, who Folds of Honor works hard to help.

"We're very proud to empower these families by paying for their education, but more importantly, as a country, we're able to honor the sacrifice that they made," Rooney said.

If you can't make it to the weigh-in, but still want to help, just tweet a picture of you holding a bass fish. Include #bigcatch, and Toyota will donate one dollar to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

Special Coverage: 2013 Bassmaster Classic