Jacksonville, Florida, May 10, 2019 – More than 600 boats will flood the St. Johns River in the “Bass Capital of the World,” Palatka, Fla., on Saturday, May 18, for the 30th Annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament. The event is now the largest bass fishing tournament in Florida and the second largest in the nation.
The three-day event has grown each year, with 1,300 anglers expected to take part in the milestone anniversary of the tournament. The fishermen will compete for cash prizes totaling more than $50,000.
Since its inception, the tournament has contributed more than $4 million to Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This year, proceeds from the tournament will support the new heart surgery partnership between Wolfson Children’s and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.The two children selected as ambassadors for this year’s tournament represent past contributions to the Wolfson Children’s pediatric trauma program, along with this year’s dedication to the heart program. Copal Lipnosky, 7, suffered a dog bite less than an inch from his eye last summer. He was rushed from St. Augustine to Wolfson Children’s, where surgeons were able to reattach and save skin, leaving Copal with minimal scarring. The second ambassador, 16-year-old Michael Scheibe, was born with multiple complex heart defects. Michael has undergone a total of six heart procedures, including two open-heart surgeries.
Festivities begin Thursday, May 16, with the Lads and Lasses tournament. The VIP and Friends bass tournament takes place on Friday, May 17.
Late registration for the main event begins at 3 am Saturday, May 18, at the Palatka City Docks. Boats will begin launching around 6:15 am in flights of 50. The drawing for a rigged, 21-foot-10-inch Bullet Boat Model 21XRS with a Mercury 250 Pro XS motor and trailer, valued at $65,000, will take place following weigh-in Saturday evening.
“Participating in any event that supports Wolfson Children’s Hospital is an honor,” said Tournament Chairman Brian Seay of Miller Electric in Jacksonville. “Watching this tournament grow over the years and become such a successful fundraiser for our area’s only children’s hospital has been incredibly fulfilling. I’m so thankful to be part of it, and to know that we are making a difference in the lives of children.”
The Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament began in 1989, when the director of the Plant Facilities department of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, along with several others, wanted to raise funds for technological advancements at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Today it is the largest tournament in the state raising money for kids. The tournament beneficiary, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for sick and injured children across North Florida and South Georgia.
For more information on the tournament, visit wolfsonbasstournament.com.
Services provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are provided primarily by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville and Emergency Resources Group.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of members of our community. To support Wolfson Children’s Hospital, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.
About Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville
Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Wolfson Children’s is the only children’s hospital in Northeast Florida and serves as the pediatric referral center for North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 216-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopaedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, traumatic injuries, and more. Wolfson Children’s pediatric institutional partners include Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville and Mayo Clinic Florida. A Magnet™-designated hospital since 2007, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has been named among the U.S. News & World Report 50 Best Children’s Hospitals year after year, and in 2018, was selected as one of only 13 children’s hospitals in the country as a Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital, a recognition of patient quality and safety. For additional information, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.