Pro Angler, 14-Year-Old Amateur Partner Fish For The V Foundation for Cancer Research

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On Sunday, an Ocala angler who fished the 2005 Bassmaster Southern Open circuit and a BASS Youth member won the 7th annual Angling Against Cancer, a one-day bass fishing tournament benefiting The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Angler Rick Couch, 38, and 14-year-old Freedom Middle School student Cody Detweiler took the tournament with a five-fish limit weighing 12.33 pounds. The duo flipped and pitched a murky and wind-swept Lake Tohopekaliga before weighing in at Osceola Heritage Park in front of hundreds of fans.

“Anytime I can do something for The V Foundation, I do it happily,” said Couch, who owns an RV dealership and lost a co-worker to cancer in 2002.

Detweiler did not know he would fish until Saturday night when his father Mark, the owner of Big Toho Marina and a BASS Life member, surprised him with the gift. “I want to be a pro and this was great because I got to fish with one today,” said Detweiler, who attended the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Toho back in February and considers 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of Year Michael Iaconelli his favorite angler.

Second place was taken by pro angler Mike Surman of Boca Raton and 8-year-old amateur Brandon Andrews of Kissimmee. Together, they caught a limit weighing 12.30 pounds.

In all, 23 pairs of pro anglers and amateurs participated, including 10 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series athletes: Preston Clark, Steve Daniel, Paul Elias, Charlie Hartley, Chris Lane, Russ Lane, Peter Thliveros, Terry Scroggins, Kevin Wirth and Charlie Youngers. Nine-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year and Oh Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup angler Roland Martin also fished. The tournament was the centerpiece of Kissimmee’s Great Outdoor Fest and Expo, a two-day festival celebrating the outdoors and organized by Elite Series pro Terry Segraves’ sponsor, the Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Segraves said the event raised nearly $50,000 this year, an amount he hopes to surpass in 2007. “I’m content, but I won’t be happy until we hit six figures,” he said. Segraves and Angling Against Cancer has raised more than $200,000 for The V Foundation, a cancer-research organization founded in 1993 by the late N.C. State basketball coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was established by ESPN and Jim Valvano in 1993. Valvano, legendary basketball coach and ESPN commentator announced the formation of The Foundation in a moving speech delivered at the 1993 ESPY Awards, shortly before his death. “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!” became The Foundation’s motivation rallying cry. Since then, The Foundation has raised more than $50 million and awarded hundreds of cancer research grants nationwide. An average of 83 cents of every dollar donated to The Foundation is allocated directly to research. The Foundation is nearing completion of an endowment which, when fully-funded, will allow 100% of every dollar raised to go directly to research as well as ensure the future of The Foundation. For the third consecutive ranking, The Foundation has received a top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s premiere evaluator of charities. For more information log on to the V Foundation website at www.jimmyv.org or call 1-800-4JimmyV.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry’s widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

For more information, contact BASS/ESPN Outdoors Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.Bassmaster.com.