The event, recognized as one of the largest bass fishing tournaments in Florida, runs May 13-15 at the City Docks in Palatka.
Hundreds of boaters are expected to have their hooks and lines ready for the 32nd annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament on Saturday, May 15. The beloved event, recognized as one of the largest bass fishing tournaments in Florida, will return in-person this year at the City Docks in Palatka, Fla.
The three-day event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But this year, fishermen will once again flood the St. Johns River to compete for cash prizes totaling more than $48,000. Wolfson Children’s Hospital challenges anglers across the Southeast to attend the tournament and beat the event’s record of 688 boating participants.
Since its inception, the Bass Tournament has raised more than $5 million for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from this year’s tournament will benefit the Wolfson Children’s C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Heart Institute, helping fund the purchase of life-saving equipment and state-of-the-art technology.
Patient ambassador Declan Shannon, 2, represents this year’s dedication to the Terry Heart Institute. Declan was born with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum and severe right ventricular hypertrophy, a critical congenital heart defect that affects blood flow from the heart to the lungs. He underwent multiple heart procedures and open-heart surgery at Wolfson Children’s, and eventually made a remarkable recovery after going into cardiac arrest.
Festivities begin Thursday, May 13, with the Lads and Lasses tournament. The VIP and Friends bass tournament takes place on Friday, May 14. Participants are encouraged to register online prior to the event to avoid waiting in line, but may still submit applications in-person each day of the event beginning at 2 pm.
Late registration for the main tournament begins at 2 am on Saturday, May 15. Boats will start launching in flights of 50 from the Palatka City Docks at safe light.
The public may enter a drawing for a 21’ 2021 Bullet Boat model 21SDC with matching tandem Boatmate trailer and Mercury 250 Pro XS outboard motor, courtesy of Bullet Boats and Mercury Marine. The drawing for the grand prize, valued at $58,000, will be broadcast on Facebook Live on Saturday, May 22, at 11 am.
“While a lot has changed over the last year, our commitment to helping the children and their families has remained the same,” said Tournament Chairman Brian Seay of Miller Electric in Jacksonville. “We’ve put protocols in place to safely host the Bass Tournament in-person this year and are looking forward to seeing everyone on the water in May. Whether an angler, volunteer, sponsor or community supporter, each participant brings a personal motivation for joining the Bass Tournament and supporting Wolfson Children’s Hospital.”
The Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament began in 1989, when the director of the Plant Facilities department of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, along with several others, wanted to raise funds for technological advancements at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Today, it is one of the largest tournaments in the state raising money for kids. The tournament beneficiary, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, provides comprehensive medical and surgical care for sick and injured children across North Florida, South Georgia and beyond.
For more information on the tournament, visit wolfsonbasstournament.com.
Services provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are provided primarily by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (for cardiac surgery services) and Emergency Resources Group.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of members of our community. To support Wolfson Children’s Hospital, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.
About Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville
Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Wolfson Children’s is the only children’s hospital in Northeast Florida and serves as the pediatric referral center for North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 216-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopaedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, traumatic injuries, and more. Wolfson Children’s pediatric institutional partners include Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville and Mayo Clinic Florida. A Magnet™-designated hospital since 2010, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has been named among the U.S. News & World Report 50 Best Children’s Hospitals year after year, and in 2019, was selected as one of only 10 children’s hospitals in the country as a Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital, a recognition of patient quality and safety. For additional information, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.