Proud of my girls

2009 Classic champ Skeet Reese I’m going to take this time to talk about something that most parents will completely understand. I’m so proud of my girls!

While I was finishing up on Sunday at Smith Mountain Lake, Lea and Courtney were participating in a trike-a-thon for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St Jude’s specializes in the care and treatment of children with cancer and understands the special needs of families in the situation.

The hospital, in Memphis, Tenn., allows the patient and three of their family members to live in an apartment or room during treatment. Their reputation as a hospital is impeccable, and their concern for the patient and their families is focused on caring for everyone. St Jude’s is amazing.

Kim and I want our girls to know the joy of giving to others, and taking part in a fundraiser like this is just one of the ways that we encourage them to participate.

The event was a fundraiser for the hospital, and family and friends pledged a dollar amount in a flat rate, or by the number of laps that the girls would ride their tricycles around the course. Every penny sent goes to help St. Jude’s with funding for their programs.

My girls did great. Lea, our 7-year-old, showed that she has the same competitive streak as me. She set a record with 275 laps in three hours; and Courtney, our 3 1/2-year-old did 67 laps of her own around the course.

Kim told me that Lea wasn’t going to be beat and that her 275 laps is a new record. She took off like a rocket around the track and kept going until she started to get tired toward the end. When she found out that another boy was within 10 laps of her, she got another burst of energy and closed strong.

When she was done, she had a bruise on her rear end from the hard seat on the trike, and another one on her left knee from the handlebars from turning left all day. Apparently, Lea has the same desire to win as I do, and when she sets her mind to accomplishing something, she does it.

When it was over, both girls were exhausted, I couldn’t have been prouder of their effort. They both gave everything they had on behalf of St. Jude’s and their patients.

Now for the other side of the coin — I’m in Alabama now getting ready for the Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake in northern Alabama, and it couldn’t have started worse. Some dirtbag broke into my boat and stole all of my rods and reels on Saturday night.

They lifted my cover, popped open my rod lockers and walked away with 20 or so of my Wright & McGill Skeet Reese rods and Abu Garcia reels. Fortunately, they didn’t take my lures and other gear, some of which are entirely irreplaceable.

Thanks to Brent Chapman, Wright & McGill and Abu Garcia, I’ll be OK. I had some extra rods in the truck, and Chapman, my Wright & McGill teammate, gave me a few more to use.

Cheryl Spencer, Pure Fishing’s field services rep here, had a few reels for me, and Tammy Cox is sending some more. My sponsors are so good to me, but this is not the way I like to find that out. Now the lockers will be double-locked with the locks and a locker bar, and I’ll still have the cover on.

Time to get work on Pickwick; I’ve never seen it or Wilson before. We’ll see what I can put together.