Last year, Shannan Tilson needed more boats to ensure the first Take Our Troops Fishing event on Clarks Hill Lake was a success.
She got more than the number of boats she'd need when offers came in bulk as the deadline approached.
The second annual event will be held Oct. 25-26, and Tilson again needs boats to ferry military personnel to various fishing spots.
Prizes will be awarded for the top catches, including an award for the top female angler.
"It's just an appreciation day," Tilson said. "(It's) about them and for them -- to say thank you."
Soldiers will be given rods, tackle, T-shirts and other related items for the fishing excursion. Nearly 100 turned out for the inaugural event.
Top prize last year was a donated pike-fishing trip to Canada. "I'm not going to be that lucky this year," Tilson said.
Tilson said prizes will include guided fishing trips, Bass Pro Shop gift cards, and possibly cash.
Retired U.S. Army Col. Thom Tuckey, executive director of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, said the event was specifically aimed at the Fort's substantial Warrior Transition Battalion -- those assigned to the Fort for medical treatment or review to determine whether they're medically qualified to continue service.
"It kind of gives them something to do to take their mind off the next thing in their life, which is going to be another rehab appointment or medical appointment or medical review board appearance to determine whether they can stay in the Army," Tuckey said.
The Battalion offers career training for those who will need to return to the workforce upon leaving service.
Tuckey said there are many initiatives to try to get soldiers in transition involved in the community. E-Z-GO recently played host to a group of military personnel who enjoyed a lunch and tour of the factory to see how golf carts were made.
"A lot of companies have stepped forward and offered to do that kind of stuff," Tuckey said.
FLW Outdoors will handle the fishing event's weigh-in, which will take place at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26.
Prizes will go to the biggest haul of bass and stripers, biggest catch of another fish, and to the female service member with the largest catch.
"It's an opportunity to get the soldiers involved and interacting with the community," Tuckey said. "That's really the intent of this thing."
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