BAHCC chosen as 2017 Exelon charity recipient
When an angler competes in this year’s Exelon Generation “Fishing for a Cure” bass fishing tournament, he or she might just save a life.
Exelon’s Braidwood Station will host its 16th annual fishing tournament this spring, with the theme “Cast a line, save a life.” This year, proceeds of the event will stay in Braidwood, benefiting the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition (BAHCC).
The community has really come together under this coalition to take action,” said Pete Dell’Aquila, project coordinator for BAHCC. “We are grateful to Exelon Generation for the support it is providing through ‘Fishing for a Cure.’ The resources will allow us, quite literally, to save lives in our community.”
The BAHCC is a grassroots organization, which originated with just a few members and some ideas back in 2008, but has since become a powerful force in the war against the use and abuse of illicit and illegal substances.
The coalition is focused on addressing the alarming rise of drug addiction and drug-related overdoses in the area, by providing educational programs, intervention and prevention strategies to the community, and support services to the community. At its inception, the group focused on teens and the use of cigarettes and alcohol. But with expanding use of heroin - including a record number of deaths in Will County in 2016, up 40 percent over 2015 - the group has spurred into action fighting opiate abuse and aiding the Braidwood Police Department with its drug fighting efforts.
BAHCC plans to use the funds raised through the tournament to provide important referral, transportation and intervention services. BAHCC members include representatives from the city of Braidwood, Braidwood Police Department, local school district and concerned parents and community members.
“Like too many communities across the country, our area has seen a rise in the number of drug addiction and drug-related overdoses,” said Police Chief Nick Ficarello. “We are seeing victims of all ages and from all backgrounds. Combating this problem is much more than a new law enforcement issue, it requires having the services in place to help people.”
“Fishing for a Cure” has donated nearly $500,000 to local nonprofits in its 16-year history. Exelon covers all costs of the tournament, including the $10,000 prize money.
This year’s tournament will take place Saturday, June 3, on Braidwood Lake.
“Every year our employees choose a local cause to benefit from the tournament,” said Braidwood Station Site Vice President Marri Marchionda-Palmer. “We are very proud of the impact our plant is making in the community and hope that everyone will come out on June 3 to enjoy the festivities.”
A children’s fishing derby will be held at the Godley Park District pond the same day at 10 a.m. The entry fee is $5 per child.