Thank you to all the volunteers

    The countdown is well under way for this year’s bass tournament.
    The 2007 tournament actually began even before Dave and Lee Lindsay defended their 2005 win. The angler entry forms had been photocopied and were ready for distribution as had the forms for the 2007 tournament draw.
    Bidding had already begun on the 91st position in the 2007 tournament.
    By mid-August, the board had called for a review of its activities by Confederation College. For the next six weeks, Confederation College contacted volunteers, former directors and others in the tournament and recommended a series of ways to make improvements.  
    Sept. 30, the applications for the draw were received and the draw was made the first week of October. A long waiting list was put in place.
    Over the next several months, as happens every year, directors resigned and the hunt began to find new people to take on their roles.
    Budgets were planned and have been constantly revised. Contacts and sponsorships have been renewed and expanded.  
    Doug Cain was kept busy tracking the teams and their members. Teams have dropped out and new teams have been added. The lengthy waiting list of last year has been pared down to under a dozen teams with potential new teams still looking to be added.
    At the Chamber of Commerce Home and Leisure Show, Trish Bruyere began signing up the “Reel Team” volunteers who make the tournament special. T-shirts colours were picked and the shirts were ordered and checked. They arrived with a week to spare.
    By the end of May, Ron Erb, who heads the site services portfolio, was making the final arrangement, to transport the tables, chairs and fencing to and from Fort Frances. This year, he had to rebuild a trust joist that spans the front of the stage.  
    Back in May, Lauris Werenko, the bar services manager, was filling in the forms for the various liquor licenses and tracking them through the process to the end of June. Beginning on Sunday, she will begin organizing and setting up the bar sales for next Tuesday evening.
    Cathe Hoszowski was busy through March, April and May with her team, contacting sponsors for their support for the tournament.   
    When the ice left the lake, Steve Lundon who heads up the tournament services portfolio, was faced with the possible loss of the starting Pither's Point Park Dock and low water. New to the board, he has put in place several improvements to handle fishermen check-ins and morning checks.  
    Cathy Tysz, who handles computer services, has been putting in days since the end of the college school year, programming the computers with the bass anglers’ information and their pictures.  Come the rules meeting of the tournament, she will be out with her camera to take the last of the fishermen’s photos.
    The search for entertainment began the first week of January and Karon Kaminski and Adam Armit began speaking with promoters and agents for this years tournaments. It took almost four months to finalize contracts and even then a cancellation had to be handled at the last minute.  
    Stacey Hahkala came back on board as finance director at the end of June and, working with Cathe Hoszowski, has been putting together a team to work in the finance trailer.
    Over the year, the committee or representatives have met with community groups, and travelled to sponsor offices to make the tournament successful.  The tournament doesn’t just happen in a week or a month, but has been a year round commitment for the directors.
    More importantly, we rely on our volunteers to put the site together, maintain it, clean it and then tear it down. Volunteers began working the first of July to put up flags and signs at the Sorting Gap and a crew will be on site through to the beginning of August.    
    With over 400 community volunteers, this tournament could never take place.   
    As FFCBC chair, I would like to thank everyone who has donated time, money, and effort to making this tournament a success. 

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