Braidwood Station employees raised $55,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) on Saturday during the site's annual 'Fishing for a Cure' tournament. The annual bass fishing contest, Braidwood Station's signature charitable event, has now raised $560,000 for local charities since it began in 2002.
This year, employees chose RMHC to receive proceeds in honor of Joe Shields, a Braidwood employee whose 2-year-old granddaughter, Ava, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last year. Exelon pays for all the expenses of staging the event so 100 percent of the money raised through entry fees, employee raffles and donations go directly to the charity.
"I am so touched," said Shields after learning of the $55,000 donation, one of the highest amounts raised in the event's 17-year history. "We have used the Ronald McDonald House facilities many times since Ava was diagnosed. I am humbled and blessed to work with such generous people and for a company that supports this type of event."
"We are blown away by the results," said Ben Morgridge, director of corporate partnerships with RMHC's Chicago and Northwest Indiana chapter. "This money will allow hundreds of families to stay at our facilities as they seek medical treatment for a child."
First place winners in the charity team bass tournament were Tom Ondras of Mokena and Kevin Rebouche of Frankfort. Husband/wife teams of Dave and Melissa Sanders of Monee and Kyle and Dany Danhausen of Kankee captured second and fourth place respectively. Dan Ryan of Braceville, fishing solo, reeled in third place. Fifth place winners were Mark Noland of DeKalb and Tim Prokop of Plainfield.
Other top 10 winners were: Francis Monnett of Willowbrook and Chuck Sabian of Ottawa (6th), Matt Leimbach of Braidwood and Nick Studeman of Morris (7th), Cory Stuart of Plainfield and Justin Romines of Morris (8th), father son duo David and Alec Berens of Channahon (9th) and Brian Sopko of St. Anne and Jeff Janssen of Bourbanais (10th).
Earlier in the day, at Exelon's Kids' Fishing Derby was held at the Godley Park District's pond. Local sponsors for the tournament included "D" Construction, Berkot's Super Foods, City of Braidwood, Monical's Pizza, T&C Anglers & Antlers, Brieser Construction, Midwest Mechanical, Enercon and Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co.