RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 8, 2003) – Forty-eight professional fishermen and 96 celebrities, donors and guests took off from Seven Springs Marina on Lake Chesdin Monday for the FLW Outdoors Celebrity Challenge pro/am bass tournament and raised $50,000 for prostate cancer research at the City of Hope in southern California. Wal-Mart FLW Tour championship contender Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., along with U.S. Army serviceman Frank Flack of Denton, Mo., and outdoors writer Trey Reid of Little Rock, Ark., bested the field with a limit of three bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce.

Per tournament rules, the pro angler could catch one bass while guests could catch either one or two for a boat limit of three bass. Williams, Flack and Reid each contributed one bass to the sack. Williams, a Land O’Lakes pro, is a rising star on the FLW Tour and scored a third-place finish at the season-ending Forrest Wood Open on Alabama’s Wheeler Lake in June. Reid covers the outdoors for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas’ largest newspaper.

Flack recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a member of the elite Fifth Special Forces Group based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. “It’s great winning, plus it’s for a good cause,” Flack said. “I got to spend the day with great guys, so winning is just a bonus.”

Celebrities competing in the event included NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ryan Newman, winner of Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. Newman, along with James Nunn, crew member of NASCAR’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries team, fished alongside two-time Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt of Cedar Park, Texas, a Kellogg’s pro. Actor Real Andrews, recently seen in the action film S.W.A.T., also competed in the event, fishing with Stanley pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn.

“This event is great for City of Hope because it allows broader exposure to people not familiar with us,” said Roy Forbes, director of development for City of Hope. “We’ve made great contacts within the bass-fishing industry, and we expect this to be a long-term relationship. These days, everyone’s lives are touched by cancer. The technology is there but money is needed for research. The bass-fishing industry has the opportunity to be an integral part in changing medicine.” The anglers are in town for the $1.5 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship presented by Castrol, which will begin Wednesday on the James River. The top 48 pros in year-end FLW Tour points standings will duke it out for a history-making top pro award of $500,000 cash, the most lucrative cash award in the history of competitive fishing. The event includes a world-class outdoor show and boat sale featuring more than 140 exhibitors that will be set up at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Anglers take off each morning Wednesday through Saturday from Osborne Landing at 7 a.m. and will weigh in at the convention center at 5 p.m. The outdoor show is open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m.