If you’ve signed up for the 2022 RI Tog Classic, a tournament run by Crafty One Custom Rods and with 100% of the proceeds donated to a very worthy charity (the Three Angels Fund) then you will be competing against me this year. Let me make it known, right now, that I do not expect to win or even place in this event. I love to fish for blackfish, but I recognize that there are many who are much better than I am at it! It’s my latest saltwater quest to become a better tog angler and I want to unlock the secrets of targeting big ones from the shore, but I’m a few years short of even starting to believe I have that pattern nailed down.
I’m signing up for this event because I believe in the cause, the Three Angels Fund supports local families that are dealing with the costs and emotional scars of a cancer diagnosis, which is something I know more about than I wish I did. And all I can tell you is that these needs are very real and your entry fee will go a long way toward making an anonymous family, that you will probably never meet, feel loved, feel a weight lifted and, even if just for a moment, make it easier to breathe again.
I didn’t participate in last year’s event and now I wish I had, but I did attend the awards ceremony and I made as many donations as I could through their raffles, tickets and food vendors. I walked into that rainy day celebration not knowing what to expect, but I was blown away upon arrival. The numbers of people that gathered there nearly knocked me over and there was a palpable sense of community in the air. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the banquet was that all of the competitors seemed to understand that this event was bigger than they were. There was no bravado, there was no spite, a rarity in any competitive environment. Everyone seemed to embody the spirit of the charity and the overarching goal of the tournament. This is no small feat and is a true testament to Ralph and his crew, these guys set the example and it permeated the minds of every attendee. It was a true ‘feel good’ celebration.
When I walked into the raffle area, I literally almost fell down. There were hundreds of items donated for the cause. It really showed how hard the Crafty One team worked to secure a diverse selection of prizes that made certain that every person there could find something they would like to win. The overall theme was fishing of course, but there were spa treatments, candles, restaurant gift cards and dozens of other things that I don’t have room to list. For anglers there were charter trips, custom rods, custom lures, gift certificates to tackle shops and many, many other items as well.
If you haven’t signed up yet, head over to ritogclassic.com and sign up, even if you don’t intend to fish or attend, that $100 will mean so much to the people that need it. And if $100 seems too steep for a donation, there are links on the website for making donations of any denomination and it’s important to note that even a $5 donation will make a difference. On the tourney website you will also find the prize details for each division and the location of the awards banquet. The event is set for October 9th and if you see me there, please stop and say ‘hello’ I’ll be looking forward to seeing everyone there and supporting what I feel is a wonderful cause.