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Redneck Games brings in $2,300

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WADDINGTON – Support is pouring in for the St. Lawrence River Showdown Committee.

At Sunday’s Redneck Winter Games, 13 teams raised $1,300, with an additional $1,000 raised through admission fees, Bingo, a 50-50 raffle, and a silent auction.

The committee is hoping to raise $100,000 to host the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament to be held Aug. 8 to 11.

The national bass fishing contest is expected to bring $2 million in tourism revenue and thousands of tourists to the area.

“There were so many people who donated time, money and resources to the games it was incredibly overwhelming,” Committee Chair Deanna Shampine said Monday.

Businesses and organizations from Myer’s Pub, Ogdensburg, to Cape Air, Massena, sponsored teams that participated in events from toilet seat horseshoes to redneck bull riding.

“Any time we can come out and support he community or FishCap, we’re really glad to do it,” Wade A. Morrill, owner of Myer’s Pub and team member of “Slushguts,” said Sunday. “Being able to sponsor the tournament here, we feel like we already won.”

Good will seemed to compound when official grand champion rednecks team Woodchucks donated the four turkeys it won from the Myers Pub Turkey Bowling contest back to Myer’s Pub. Mr. Morrill said they will use the turkeys to host a dinner for all the event’s volunteers at a later date.

North Country Savings Bank announced it would donate $3,000 for the committee at the event. As one of the earliest contributors, bank President David C. Swanson said he hoped the bank’s donation would encourage other organizations and businesses to donate.

“It’s kind of the like the playoffs leading up to the fishing Super Bowl,” Mr. Swanson said of the tournament. “There will be fair amount of money spent here. Let’s not forget the amount of exposure that St. Lawrence County will get as it pertains to the quality of fishing here. Once people see the catch sizes that come out of the tournament, we’ll have competitors and visitors wanting to come back here and visit. I think the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term spending.”

The Waddington Chamber of Commerce also showed its support by donating $1,000 from its second-prize winnings in the 2011 Ultimate Fishing Town Contest sponsored by the World Fishing Network. The World Fishing Network Committee also donated $4,500 to the cause from last year’s contest.

Quality Inn, Massena, officially announced Sunday it was donating 100 one-night stays for the tournament. Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, organizers of the event, stipulate the rooms must be provided as part of its contract with the village.

The rooms will house television production and camera crews from BASS, the Outdoor Channel and ESPN 2. The tournament is scheduled to be shown on ESPN 2 from 8 to 9 a.m. Aug. 8 and at 6 a.m. Sept. 7.

“The organizers would like to thank everyone, participants and spectators and the like, who turned out to support us,” Ms. Shampine said. “We had a blast organizing it and we had a blast watching everybody have so much fun yesterday.”

With the success of the games, Ms. Shampine said, the committee is considering holding a similar event in the future.

“It’s been discussed that if it turns out well we would consider the redneck summer games for fun and to benefit different charities,” she said.

The committee will meet today to discuss its next fundraising event.

Currently, the committee is selling 3,000, $10 raffle tickets for a grand prize of up to $15,000. The winner will be drawn Aug. 11. The committee is also applying for a $60,000 community development grant through the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

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