Federation Nations in the spotlight


GADSDEN, Ala. — The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation's grass-roots efforts were given high praise when the top programs were honored in the annual Outstanding Achievement Awards program. The awards were presented in January at the 2007 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship.

As reported in the March issue of BASS Times, top achievers of the year were Jim Zieger (Federation Nation Member of the Year) and Minnesota B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (Federation Nation of the Year).

Following is a recap of the Federation Nation winners. Recipients of the chapter awards will be recognized in the next issue of BASS Times.

Conservation: Rhode Island

One of the smallest states in the Nation received the biggest award for conservation projects. The Rhode Island Federation Nation earned the award for two significant efforts at a public boat ramp and a handicap-accessible fishing pier.

The ramp project at Roger Williams Park, an urban recreation site in Providence, involved securing a donation of some nine tons of aggregate stone and a truck to haul it. The aggregate was used to fill holes in the eroded ramp and surrounding roadway. Team Rhode Island Bassmasters took the lead in the successful project.

The handicap pier came about through a partnership with the Ross Elkhay Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting children and their families living with life-altering disease or terminal illness. The pier is located on Gorton Pond in the city of Warwick. Federation Nation members plan to place fish habitat and man-made attractors within casting distance of the pier this year.

Community Service: Missouri

The Summer Sizzler Tournament and its charitable tie to the Children's Miracle Network earned top community service honors for the Missouri Federation Nation.

The 11th annual event held on Truman Lake resulted in a $5,000 donation made on behalf of Missouri to the Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals across North America.

To date, the Missouri Federation Nation has donated some $40,000 to the organization's fund-raising efforts.

Youth: Arizona

A strong youth outreach effort paid off for the Arizona Federation Nation, which earned top honors among states in the category. The Federation Nation partnered with the Arizona Cardinals organization to put CastingKids on an NFL platform.

The Cardinals' training center became the venue for the CastingKids state finals, with winners Aaron Custer, 13, and Travis Pollay, 8, winning their respective 11-14 and 7-10 age divisions. The winners were recognized and introduced on the 50-yard line of University of Phoenix stadium.

The Federation Nation also heavily promoted the CastingKids program, garnering coverage in several sports and outdoors publications.

Promotions and Media: Arizona

The Arizona Federation Nation's Web site (www.arizonabassnation.com) and its online newsletter earned the top media category award. The site is updated frequently with the companion newsletter published monthly. Members can review meeting minutes from club functions, view a photo gallery, find tournament information and more on the interactive site.