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Bass tourney seeks more donations

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WADDINGTON — With less than three weeks away from the big event, organizers of the Evan Williams Bourbon St. Lawrence River Showdown say they need just a few more dollars to reach their fundraising goal.

The final price tag of the Bassmaster Elite Tournament — often referred to as the Super Bowl of fishing — is $233,000. Organizers initially estimated about $150,000 would be needed to hold the tournament.

“There are expenses that we didn’t anticipate,” William Dashnaw, committee member, said. “We’ve never done anything like this before. It’s costing a little more than anticipated. As long as we keep fundraising right up until the event, we should be able to reach our $233,000 goal.”

Fundraising ends the Sunday before the tournament, which is scheduled from Aug. 8 to 11.

Earlier this week, the organizing committee received a big push, $75,000 worth, from the St. Lawrence County Legislature.

“We have the $75,000 from the county, which is much more than we were hoping for,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said. “The county saw the benefit of this tournament and what the committee is trying to do, and we appreciate their foresight.”

The village has received community support from nearly 50 north country businesses, which perhaps have the most to gain from the tournament.

“We have had an enormous amount of private and corporate support from every angle of the county,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada said.

Organizers are still selling tickets for their $30,000 raffle. Approximately $15,000 in prize money will go to the winner; while $15,000 will benefit the tournament. Only 3,000 tickets have been printed.

One of the major expenses of the tournament was installing electrical and cable hookup to the main stage, Mrs. Otto-Cassada said.

“We had to do it for our performances,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada said. “This is a good investment, though. If in the future we hold another tournament or a concert, Waddington will be the perfect venue.”

Organizers say they are still looking for money to sponsor performers for the free concerts held Saturday night of the tournament.

To donate or for more information about the tournament, visit northcountrybass.com.

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