Sharps Chapel, TN – The 2015 ROHO Fishing Tournament is officially in the books and will go down as one of the best ever. That is the word that came from club officials following this weekend’s event which raised nearly $33,000 dollars from the sale of close to 6,600 tickets that will help buy approximately 300 of the area’s needy children from all three states and four counties clothes and toys this December at the annual ROHO Shopping Spree.
In 1965 when a small group of outgoing Junior Chamber of Commerce members decided they wanted to continue serving the community by forming a new club, most never imagined the number of children they would help each year would grow from the five they took the first shopping spree, to the nearly 300 that benefited from the cause in December of 2014.
About the time the “exhausted roosters” as they were termed by the Junior Chamber of Commerce got on their feet, Archie Campbell had released a song entitled “ROHO the Rooster.” The name seemed to fit and the new club that consisted of men from all walks of life throughout the Tri-State area quickly adopted it as their name, ROHO the Rooster became their mascot. Now 50 years later, with only three founding members remaining, and in an economy that it arguably the toughest of the club’s existence, through the generous support of area residents and business owners the ROHOS will again be able to help more area children this year than ever before.
For club members, although the cause was for the most part about helping children by selling as many tickets as possible, the fishing tournament itself is much anticipated by fishermen, children, families and others who like to get together for a day or the entire weekend on the lake. This year, as has been the case for more than four decades, those who chose to fish in the tournament battled for first or second prize in seven different species or categories, while others simply shared in the fellowship with hopes of winning a door prize.
The Largemouth Bass category ended in a tie this year with Zack Holbrook and Luke Houston splitting the total prize money of $400.00 with fish that each weighed 3 lbs. 2 oz. The Smallmouth Bass category was even more tightly contested, as Kevin Gordon took the $300.00 first place cash prize with a fish that weighed 3 lb. 8 oz., while Russell Thompson, Chase Huff, Jeremy Bortz and Cayden Huff all caught bass weighing 3 lbs. 2 oz. to tie for second, while splitting $100.00.
In the Rockfish category, Keith Miniard took top honors with 17 lbs. 2 oz., while Tom Asher’s fish was only a pound behind at 16 lbs. 2 oz. The Walleye was won by a landslide, as Russell Thompson brought in some good eating’ with a 5 lb. 8 oz. fish to roll over Greg Hendrickson’s catch that weighed only 1 lb. 6 oz., and take second place. Sabra Howard and Keith Miniard took the Crappie category and were separated by only two ounces. Howard’s fish weighed 1 lb. 2 oz., while Miniard’s Crappie weighed a pound even to also put him in the money. The Bream category ended in a tie with Frances McFarland and Kim Johnson each catching fish that weighed 1 lb., while the Catfish recorded the biggest fish of the tournament with first place going to Lawrence Williams at 33 lbs. 2 oz., and Mark Davis taking second with 31 lbs. 12 oz.
Members of the ROHOS would like to thank those individuals who purchased tickets to fish this year’s tournament, the area businesses who sponsor the posters, tickets and brochures, and especially the businesses and individuals who gave generously to sponsor more than 225 children with the purchase of 30 tickets or more. Over the new few months, club members will begin focusing on the details of the 2015 ROHO Shopping Spree that will be held at the Middlesboro, Kentucky Wal-Mart. That event will take place in early December and is expected to provide assistance for more than 300 area children.