Potato Creek Bass Club from Mishawaka, a Zone 1 club, was named the 2018 IBF Club of the Year. During the year they gave a person $200 for material and helped him tear out dry wall that was damaged in the February floods. They donated $100 to sponsor a hole at a charity golf scramble put on by the Bremen Post of the Indiana State Police. The charity benefits State Police Officers and their families that are suffering life threating illnesses. Over $10,000 was raised at the event to help a trooper’s family that incurred large medical bills. The bass club donated $200 to the Elkhart County Pheasants Forever to help conduct a youth pheasant hunt that the chapters does every year. At the event the club also did a casting kids program. Over 125 kids cast from the front deck of the casting boat in the rain and sleet. They donated tackle to the first 50 kids. And the reason it was only the first 50 kids is because the turnout was much larger than the organizers expected. Besides the pheasant hunt the kids also learned about archery, skeet shooting, shown how to load their own ammunition and were even allowed to try their hand at blacksmithing. The club donated two rod and reels to the Bremen Conservation club to use at their annual ice fishing derby to benefit the Bremen Boys and Girls club. The club entered 4 of their boats in the Bremen Fireman’s Parade and the Marshall County Blueberry Parade. They threw candy to the kids and proudly displayed the IBF banner on the lead truck. Club members acted as boat captains at two of the Ball State Fishing Club tournaments. One boat captain had his Ball State angler win twice and another Ball Stater fished second in the back of a boat captained by another bass club member. And last the members wanted to participate in the charity bass tournament for Nash Deveau put on by the Angola Hawg Hunters but because of scheduling they could not attend. So they made a $250 donation to help the Deveau family to help make the event a success
The Conservation Award was presented to the Tri-County Bass Anglers from Zone 4. Members of the Tri-County Bass Masters assisted the DNR in constructing habitat for Lake Monroe. This was in conjunction with the 5 year DNR Impoundment Enhancement project. Around 200 Hoosier boxes made out of pallets were placed in Monroe. When they were not building structures they found time to assist the Hoosier National Forest Free Kids Fishing Day and member Brandon Brett hosted a cast for kids event at Monroe. They were also involved with CAST for Kids at Lake Monroe.
The Youth Award was presented to the St Joe Valley Bass Masters from Zone 1.. They conducted their 42nd Kids Fishing Derby at Potato Creek State Park. Approximately 175 kids participated this year. Hot dogs, chips and soda was given to the kids and their parents once the poles were put away. Awards are based on inches of fish with 5 places awarded in each group – 3 age groups of boys and 3 age groups of girls. Prizes included bicycles, fishing rod and reels, MP3 players, and sleeping bags. A flat screen TV was given to the youngster that caught the most inches of bass and $100 was given for the biggest bass caught. In addition to the derby the club participates in the St Joseph County Sheriff’s Department Crime Night Out. It is an opportunity for the public to enjoy some free food and let youth interact with law enforcement and businesses in an effort to help support crime prevention
The Community Service Award is presented to the Angola Hawg Hunters. They Zone 1 club hosted a charity tournament to raise funds for the family of Nash Deveau, a young boy suffering from Neuroblastoma, an extremely rare type of cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissue. https://www.bing.com/search?q=Nerve+tissue%20wikipedia&FORM=WIKIRE They attracted 23 sponsors which provided $4,300 in door prizes. The 59 teams took home $3,950 in cash awards and more importantly the raised $7,000 for the family. They also conducted a casting kids event in which 70 kids participated and they all took home a prize.
Chelsea Bass Masters was given Honorable Mention for their 34 year relationship with the Lide White Boys and Girls Club. Each year thirty kids from the Boys and Girls club partnered up in the boats with members of the Chelsea Bass Masters and fish the river. Afterwards they eat pizza and hand out awards. Each child gets a fishing pole and tackle box, The club was able to donate $3,000 this year to the Boys and Girls club and estimate over the years they have donated around $50,000 and handled out over 1,000 fishing poles and tackle boxes.