NORMAL, Ill. – Professional bass fisherman Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., teamed with Special Olympics Illinois and the Law Enforcement Torch Run to host the 5th Annual Chad Morgenthaler Bass Tournament presented by Jasper Engines & Transmissions on Aug. 28 at Rend Lake in southern Illinois.
A record 91 two-man teams competed for the most weight and for big bass. Teams had the option of competing in a Beat the Pro contest against Morgenthaler and fishing legend Guido Hibdon. Bryan Mitchell and Tony Mitchell won the tournament with a 5-fish limit weighing 18.32 pounds and had the tournament’s big bass which weighed 5.27 pounds.
The top 10 teams who cashed checks were:
Bryan Mitchell and Tony Mitchell – 5 fish weighing 18.32 pounds
Duke Jenkel and Jeff Atchison – 5 fish weighing 17.12 pounds
Steve Dorris and Gary Bowlin – 5 fish weighing 16.74 pounds
Toby Corn and Brad Lutz – 5 fish weighing 16.45 pounds
Stan Jones and Doug Borgmann – 5 fish weighing 14.53 pounds
Shannon Toigo and David Guill – 5 fish weighing 14.30 pounds
Travis Boley and John McKinney – 5 fish weighing 13.82 pounds
Matt Coe and Kenny Atchison – 5 fish weighing 13.10 pounds
Marcus Reed and Chad Blades – 5 fish weighing 12.92 pounds
Chris Sledge and Dan Sledge – 5 fish weighing 12.29 pounds
Complete results are available at http://www.soill.org/bass. Each angler received a T-shirt, meal and goodie bag full of tackle. This year’s tournament raised more than $32,000 for Special Olympics Illinois, bringing the five-year total to $133,000.
Media Sponsors of the tournament were: WSIL-TV, The Southern Illinoisan and River Radio.
Morgenthaler is a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and has several FLW Top 10 tournament finishes. He became involved with Special Olympics Illinois in 2005 when he hosted a day-long fishing trip as part of an online auction sponsored by the organization. Special Olympics athletes were on hand at Crab Orchard Lake in southern Illinois to see Morgenthaler and the auction winner begin their fishing trip. That experience led to Morgenthaler’s interest in hosting a charity tournament for the organization.
“It’s just a privilege to have the opportunity to raise funds for this worthy cause,” Morgenthaler said. “We’ve raised more than $133,000 over five years that we’ve been holding this tournament. This year’s was our largest ever. It’s really growing and we’re looking to do some additional things to make it bigger and better.”
“Special Olympics Illinois would like to thank all the participants and sponsors, who without their help, this event would not be possible,” said Jeff Henson, Director of Special Events for Special Olympics Illinois.
Chad Morgenthaler, 43, has been a professional bass fisherman since 2002. He is sponsored by Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Phoenix Boats, Lunker Lure – Hawg Caller, Svanda GM Motor Group, Solar Bat, Power-Pole, Nameoki Village Marine, Plano Tackle, Minn Kota, Element 21 Fishing, Optima Batteries, Fishouflage, U.S. Reel, Humminbird, Line & Lure, BTS Protectant and El Grande Lures.
Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 4,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org.
The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising event benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.