BRAIDWOOD, Ill. – When an angler competes in this year’s Exelon Generation “Fishing for a Cure” bass fishing tournament, he or she might just save a life. “Cast a line, save a life” – that’s the goal for Braidwood Generating Station’s 16th annual team bass fishing event, where all proceeds will go to the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition (BAHCC).
The coalition is focused on addressing the alarming rise of drug addiction and drug-related overdoses in the area through programs that provide education, intervention, prevention and support services to the community. Will County saw a record number of heroin-related deaths in 2016, up more than 40 percent over the previous year, which has spurred the community to urgent action.
“The community has really come together under this coalition to take action,” said Pete Dell’Aquila, project coordinator for BAHCC. “We are grateful to Exelon Generation for the support it is providing through ‘Fishing for a Cure.’ The resources will allow us, quite literally, to save lives in our community.”
BAHCC is a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization that will use the resources raised through the tournament to provide important referral, transportation and intervention services. BAHCC members include representatives from the city of Braidwood, Braidwood Police Department, local school district and concerned parents and community members.
“Like too many communities across the country, our area has seen a rise in the number of drug addiction and drug-related overdoses,” said Nick Ficarello, Braidwood Police Chief. “We are seeing victims of all ages and from all backgrounds. Combating this problem is much more than a law enforcement issue, it requires having the services in place to help people.”
“Fishing for a Cure” has donated nearly $500,000 to local nonprofits in its 16-year history. Exelon covers all costs of the tournament, including the $10,000 prize money. This year's tournament will take place Saturday, June 3, on Braidwood Lake. ESPN radio’s Chauncey Niziol of “Chauncey’s Great Outdoors” will broadcast live at the event and serve as emcee for the awards ceremonies for the adults and children.
"Every year our employees choose a local cause to benefit from the tournament," said Braidwood Station Site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer. "We are very proud of the impact our plant is making in the community and hope that everyone will come out on June 3 to enjoy the festivities."
Interested participants can find fishing tournament rules and the official entry form at www.exeloncorp.com/newsroom/events/pages/exelon’s-fishing-for-a-cure or anglers can contact Braidwood Communications Manager Pegg Warnick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 417-3184.
A children's fishing derby will be held at the Godley Park District pond the same day from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $5 per child.
Braidwood Generating Station, a nuclear energy facility located about 60 miles south of Chicago, generates nearly 2,400 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to power more than 2 million homes.