Local high school student organizes bass tournament for children in need

Elizabethton High School student Zeb Roberts is spear-heading a bass fishing tournament for residents of East Tennessee, all in the name of providing for needy children in his community.

He said he received inspiration from his church, Harmony Freewill Baptist, and its Back to School Bash program, which provides food, clothes and other services for children who cannot afford them for the upcoming school year.

“If you can see some of the kids, you want to help them out,” Roberts said.

He said he wanted to raise money ahead of the actual Bash, and so began the Bass Tournament.

Despite his young age, Roberts began making trips himself to various businesses in the area, be it rain or shine, to get businesses to donate towards door prizes or other contributions.

“It has been an effort,” he said. “I have a full notebook full of notes.”

Roberts has received support from businesses like Watson’s Marine and H&S Hunting. Fish Springs Marina agreed to be the “blast off point” for the tournament.

Currently, he said he has received around $400 in donations alone. He said there is currently no set amount they are looking to reach, though he said it takes about $25,000 to fund the whole Bash.

“We are looking for as much as we can,” Roberts said.

He said organizing the tournament has given him valuable experience into how these kinds of events work, so he can better prepare for future fundraisers.

“I get the experience of what to do in the future and learn what you need to do and need to not do,” he said.

Those interested in signing up for the tournament can do so by printing out a form at www.harmonychurch.org. There is a $50 registration fee per boat.

In addition to the standard door prizes, the weigh-in will feature a $500 grand prize, a $300 second place prize and a $100 third place prize.

The tournament begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, at the Fish Springs Marina, located at 191 Fish Springs Road.

Those who have any questions about the tournament can contact Roberts at 423-440-0736.

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