News - Hero


Published by admin on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 7:08pm
Credit to Free Press Newspapers
By: Marney Simon

It’s been 16 years since Exelon’s Braidwood Station first took a Saturday on the lake and turned it into a charity event.

On June 3, representatives from the plant hosted dozens of anglers to again raise funds, this time benefiting a cause that is essential to Braidwood

The 16th Annual “Fishing for a Cure” charity bass tournament attracted fishermen from across the Midwest. The funds from this year’s tournament mean that since its inception, the charity event has raised more than a half million dollars for charitable causes.

This year’s recipient was the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition (BAHCC). At the conclusion of the event, members accepted a check for more than $50,000.

“We just want to thank everyone for how you work with us,” said Pam Dell’Aquila, a member of the BAHCC.” Every one out here, thank you for your support . It’s going to be put to great use to prevent drug and alcohol use among our youth, and to get people into treatment.

The BAHCC is a local, non-profit volunteer group dedicated to fighting drug and alcohol addiction among local youth. In addition to educational programs, the volunteers assist the Braidwood Police Department with its CHANGE program, a local resource that helps connect addicts with treatment and recovery programs.

The coalition also works with other community organizations and the Reed-Custer School District to provide education on drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and abuse to children and their parents.

“The funds raised by Exelon Generation and Braidwood employees this year will help us expand programs and services to save lives,” said Pete Dell’Aquila, project coordinator for the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition. “It means the world to us and it opens up a lot of opportunities for us to educate a new generation on drug abuse and addiction.” Braidwood Lake was originally constructed as a cooling water source for Braidwood Generating Station, one of six nuclear facilities operated in the state by Exelon. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources acquired the lake from Commonwealth Edison in 1999 under the landmark Open Land Trust. Since then, the lake has served the community as a recreational destination for fishing, boating, hunting and wildlife habitat preservation.

“This tournament is a great example of Exelon Generation’s commitment to protecting the environment and serving the community,” said Bryan Hanson, president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon Generation. “Our nuclear facilities safely and reliably power the grid with carbon-free electricity while our employees power the community, raising money for great civic causes. This was a tremendous event for all involved.”

The top 10 finishers shared more than $10,000 in prize money. Winners were:

  • 1st place — Nick Stuedemann of Morris and Matt Leimbach of Braidwood
  • 2nd place —Rickey and Aaron Alexander of New Lenox.
  • 3rd place — Kyle and Dany Danhausen of Kankakee
  • 4th place — Dave and Melissa Sanders of Monee
  • 5th place —Joe Sanderson and Tim Krantz
  • 6th place — Jay O’Connell and Karl Carpenter
  • 7th place — Dave and Elizabeth Schultz of Wilmington
  • 8th place — Steve Smith and Ed Withaeger
  • 9th place — Joe Doris and Bill Matthews
  • 10th place — Anthony and Mike Fazio

Children under the age of 12 also participated in a Kids Fishing Derby earlier in the Day at the Godley Park District pond.

  • Brody Alexander, 8, of Essex, caught the largest fish, at 22 inches.
  • Cody Nelson, 3, of Coal City, caught the smallest, measuring 5.5 inches.

The top three winners in each of the age divisions for the Kids Derby were:

  • Ages 5 and under – Cody Nelson, 3, Coal City (1st place); Addy Alexander, 5, Essex (2nd place); Jeff Johnson, 4, Coal City (3rd place).
  • Ages 6-8 – Carter Wix, 6, Diamond (1st place); Brody Alexander, 8, Essex (2nd place); Colton Boucher, 7, Lockport (3rd place).
  • Ages 9-12 – Ethan Mann, 12, Braidwood (1st place); Bret Cavanaugh, 10, Braidwood (2nd place); Danielle Wyatt, 11, Shorewood (3rd place).

Local sponsors for the tournament included D Construction, Berkot’s Super Foods, Monical’s, Republic Services, Brieser Construction, SCI Corporation, Midwest Conveyor & Fab, Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co. and Rachke Piping and Mechanical.

The BAHCC meets the second Monday of each month at 4:30 p.m. at the Braidwood Fire Station.