Bass-fishing tournament for Alabaster child a success

The weather didn’t cooperate, but nothing would keep the first Joey Paulin Caring Heart Bass Tournament from being a huge success last Saturday.

The event raised just over $800 for Paulin, a 5-year-old Alabaster boy with Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, a rare and terminal illness that prevents him from walking, talking, sitting or standing.

Tournament organizer Mark Boggan said rain moved in around 1 p.m. He was worried the wet conditions would force a premature end to the tournament, which was scheduled to end at 3:30 p.m. He was happy when the avid fishermen, with good intentions, stuck it out in the adverse weather conditions.

“We were drowning rats,” Boggan said.

Boggan praised the fishermen for giving toward a good cause.

“It was a great day,” Boggan said. “We raised a good bit of money for little Joey and the Paulin family. There was a lot of good-hearted bass fishermen.”

Boggan was proud of the money raised for Paulin, but he said he wished more people had shown up.

“We wanted to raise more, but the weather probably scared a few people off,” Boggan said.

Joey was unable to attend the event, but he is out of the hospital and is scheduled to begin kindergarten this week at the Linda Nolen Learning Center in Alabaster.

Angel Garcia and Wayne Isbell won the tournament with a total weight of 12.82 pounds. Garcia and Isbell also won the “big fish” prize with a 4.72-pound bass.

Kirk and Breck Price finished second with a catch of 12.45 pounds. The Prices donated their winnings, which totaled $187.50, to Paulin’s medical fund.

Roseanna Paulin, Joey’s mother, said she couldn’t thank the people who organized the event enough.

“I want to give a very special thank you to Mark Boggan for organizing the event, Flynn Geralds for being the weigh master and to Airport Marine and Bob Green at Alabaster Optical for sponsoring the event,” said Paulin.

Boggan is still accepting donations after the tournament at Joey Paulin Medical Fund, Post Office Box 2571, Alabaster, Ala., 35007.