FLW FOUNDATION SPECIAL OLYMPICS FISHING DERBY SET FOR SATURDAY AT CUP

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 08/14/2015

Story and photo courtesy of FLW Communications

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – As thousands of fishing fans gather in Hot Springs next week to celebrate the Forrest Wood Cup, the sport of fishing will celebrate the athletes of Special Olympics Arkansas by hosting the FLW Foundation Special Olympics Fishing Derby. Supported by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), the derby will be Saturday, August 22nd from 9-11 a.m. at the AGFC Family Park located at 215 Family Park Road in Hot Springs.
 
The derby was the brainchild of FLW Tour pro Cody Kelley of Conway, Arkansas. Kelley supported Special Olympics Arkansas by donating his title sponsorship to the organization throughout the entire 2015 season, his first as a professional.
 
“Over the year I have come to know real champions and I have established real friendships through my partnership with Special Olympics Arkansas,” said Kelley. “With the Forrest Wood Cup taking place in Hot Spring this year, I knew that it was a special circumstance that we had to capitalize on for them. The idea of hosting an FLW fishing derby for those athletes seemed like the perfect fit.”
 
Kelley presented the idea to FLW officials and the AGFC, who immediately agreed to provide support.
 
“We were extremely excited when Cody presented the idea to us and we committed to do whatever we could to help support the event,” said Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations with FLW. “The FLW Foundation encourages all FLW anglers, members and fans to promote the sport of fishing and build passion through participation. Cody has gone above and beyond in the organization of this event and FLW is very proud to be a part of it.”
 
More than 50 rod-and-reel combos have been donated by Kid Casters for the Special Olympics Athletes to use in the two-hour event. Derby winners will be recognized at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the Walmart FLW Tour stage prior to the Forrest Wood Cup day-three weigh-in at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena. Special Olympics Arkansas Athletes will then watch the FLW Tour pros bring their bass to the stage in style in a special V.I.P. seating section.
 
“I am honored to be a part of two wonderful organizations and I am proud that they are coming together for this great event,” Kelley said.
 
The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, returns to Lake Ouachita and Hot Springs, next week, August 20-23 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2015. Hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for the sport’s biggest awards – $500,000 cash in the pro division and $50,000 cash in the co-angler division.