The ninth annual Fishing for Frankie fundraiser tournament saw its best ever turnout of participants, paving the way for the event to raise more than $18,000 for Hahnville resident Meghan Schexnayder as she battles cancer.
There 54 boats in total taking the water for the fishing tourney, which was held at Somme’s Marina on August 5. Tourney coordinator Audrey Champagne Raziano said that number represents a high mark in the near decade the event has been held.
“It’s another successful year of Fishing for Frankie,” said event coordinator Audrey Champagne Raziano. “The companies and individuals that sponsor the tournament … the volunteers who give up so much of their time to help … our weigh master, there are so many people to thank. And no words can describe our community. The love and support every year is humbling. We have been truly blessed.”
The event proceeds will go toward offsetting the medical expenses for Schexnayder, who was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare pediatric type of bone cancer, five years ago at the age of 24 and has gone through several bouts with cancer since.
The tournament was established nearly a decade ago to help Luling’s Frankie Champagne Jr., Raziano’s brother, during his battle with cancer.
“The teams who come out each year and fish the tournament, the families of past recipients of our tournament who come out each year to pay it forward, it is nothing short of amazing,” Raziano said. “Touching lives in a positive way is an amazing feeling and we are grateful to have a way to keep Frankie Jr’s memory and spirit of giving alive.”
When the weigh-in was over, Keith Guidry and Charlie Roccaforte earned first place honors, their haul weighing 13.31 pounds. Frank Bueche caught the biggest bass at 5.26 pounds.