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Little Juniata Fly Fishing Classic to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Sure, Tom Janocko and Bob Simpson\’s team win at last year\’s Little Juniata Fly Fishing Classic was impressive. And yes, the women\’s division had a formidable 2005 champion in Susan Waterfall. In addition to the Individual Grand Champion prize, Brian Waldron caught the largest rainbow trout in the tournament at 26 inches and Janocko\’s brown trout catch of 21 inches was the largest in that category.
But the most impressive fact to emerge from last year\’s Classic is this: officials at the tournament raised more than $70,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Event organizers are hoping to top that total in this year\’s event, which is set for June 23-25 at Spring Ridge Club on the Little Juniata River in Spruce Creek.
The event is part of the Mercury Redbone @ Large Celebrity Tournament Series, and proceeds from all tournaments in the Series will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Anglers will be fishing for rainbow and German brown trout at the event.
Entrants in the 2006 Classic will be assigned a professional guide for the duration of the tournament. Each two-man team will fish a total of eight hours on eight different beats over a two-day period. Contestants will catch and release a maximum of eight fish to be counted toward scoring. A point system awards weighted values for each fish caught. Team registration also includes catered gourmet meals, unlimited beverages, an official tournament fly fishing shirt and bag, a Marty and Mary Welcoming Dinner and auction on Friday night, and entertainment on Saturday night.
Thanks to the financial support of events such as this fishing classic, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has made tremendous progress in the field of cystic fibrosis (CF) research and care. The median age of survival for a person with CF has improved from early childhood in the 1950s to 36.8 years today. However, cystic fibrosis continues to be a critical health matter, as most individuals with the disease must battle chronic lung infections for their entire lives. At least one person dies from CF each day.
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to assure the means to cure and control this genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and young adults in the United States.
Redbone founder Ellis and his wife, Susan, have passionately supported the Foundation not only because of its innovative and effective research efforts, but also for a very personal reason: their daughter, Nicole, was diagnosed with CF as an infant in the mid-1980s. Nicole is now a college student, and has witnessed–first hand–the advances made in the treatment of the disease. The Classic has grown from the seed planted in 1988, when a handful of anglers, fishing guides and sports celebrities organized a tournament in the Florida Keys village of Islamorada. The group focused on just two of the available species: redfish and bonefish. The ground rules were simple to win, the angler must catch and release at least one of each.
In the past 17 years, Redbone tournaments have contributed approximately $8 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The inaugural Islamorada event was a great success, and the \”redbone\” moniker was born. The current format of the individual tournaments can include freshwater, offshore and flats fishing.
The environments in which the Redbone events take place have played a major role in their success. The Florida Keys, for instance, contain miles of clear flats with acres of turtle grass and marl, features that create a welcoming habitat and a diverse fishery that includes bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook. Tournaments are also held in such diverse locations as Massachusetts, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Costa Rica, Pennsylvania, Ohio, the Bahamas, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Louisiana.
Mercury Marine, the official outboard engine of the Redbone events, began its support of the Series in 1992, and the collection of events has drawn the attention and support of big-name celebrities such as the late baseball great Ted Williams, baseball stars Mike Schmidt and Wade Boggs, football legend Ken Stabler and the late broadcasting icon Curt Gowdy.
For more information on the Mercury Redbone @ Large Celebrity Tournament Series and/or the Little Juniata Fly Fishing Classic, visit on-line at www.redbone.org or call 305-664-2002 or 1-877-5FISH-CF or contact Heather Connors at 412-321-4422 or 800 FIGHT CF.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is a donor-supported, nonprofit organization committed to finding therapies and ultimately a cure for cystic fibrosis, and to improving the lives of those with the disease. For more information, visit www.cff.org.