Braceville, Ill. - Exelon's Fishing for a Cure tournament raised a record $59,500 for the Coal City and Diamond Tornado Disaster Relief Fund. The event was held Saturday, April 19, at Braidwood Lake.
"Exelon and its employees excel at operating its nuclear facilities, and at supporting the local community. We are so grateful for Exelon's generosity and to have been a part of this amazing fundraiser," said Village of Diamond Mayor Terry Kernc.
The money raised will help the more than 240 homeowners and business owners affected by the devastating tornado that swept through the Coal City and Diamond communities last November.
Exelon volunteers supported last year's tornado cleanup efforts and the company donated hundreds of items needed by relief workers, including safety glasses, work gloves, safety vests, flashlights and batteries. In addition, Exelon donated $25,000 to the local American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in Illinois.
One hundred, two-person teams from around the Midwest competed in the tournament. Richard Dolgner Sr. of Plainfield, Ill. and his son Richard Dolgner Jr. of Joliet took home first place and the $4,000 top prize. Their three-fish total of 11.87 pounds was the best in Fishing for a Cure tournament history. Dolgner Sr. set a tournament record by landing a 6.18 pound bass.
Coming in second was Dave Sanders and Pete Banach of Monee, Ill. The team reeled in 10.89 pounds and won $2,500. Eric Liebermann of Wilmington, Ill. and Nick Connor of Morris, Ill. snared third place. The group caught 9.42 pounds of bass and took home $1,000. Other teams shared the remaining $2,500 in prize money.
"Our employees at Braidwood Station and Exelon are proud to help our neighbors in a time of need," said Braidwood Site Vice President Mark Kanavos. "I'd like to thank the many local businesses that supported us and ESPN's Chauncey Niziol for serving as the tournament host."
"I am very proud to be a part of this tournament," said Niziol. "Exelon is a strong community partner and cares greatly about the environment and Braidwood Lake. The combined impact of annual fish restocking efforts and Exelon's artificial habitat program has greatly enhanced the fishery. We saw more large fish caught than ever before."
All proceeds raised through tournament entry fees, raffles and sponsorships go to the recipient charity, which are selected annually by station employees. Organizations and businesses contributing to the cause include:
• D Construction
• Belgio's Catering
• Demark, Inc.
• Monical's Pizza
• T&C Anglers and Antlers
Since its inaugural tournament in 2002, Fishing for a Cure has raised more than $360,000 for local and regional charities. Last year's event raised $57,000 for the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Illinois.
Exelon will continue raising funds for the relief effort through its Fishing for a Cure children's derby scheduled for Saturday, June 7, in Godley Park. For more information on this event, visit www.exeloncorp.com/fishing.
Braidwood Generating Station is approximately 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The station's two nuclear energy units can produce a total of more than 2,300 megawatts of carbon free electricity - enough to power more than 2 million typical homes.