Anglers raised funds for Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation in recognition of a Grayling man
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Participants in a pre-father’s day fishing tournament helped raise funds to recognize a Grayling educator and coach one cast at a time.
The inaugural Parkinson’s Fishing Tournament was held on Lake Margrethe on Saturday, June 16.
Zach Wolcott spearheaded the organization of the fishing tournament to recognize his grandfather, Fred Wolcott, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2000.
“We just started organizing it with a few friends and family and pulled it together,” said Tanya Wolcott, Fred’s daughter-in-law.
Wolcott was an educator who also guided the future of student athletes throughout the years.
“He was a teacher for our school district for close to 30 years,” Tanya said. “He is well known in our community and he was baseball coach, so a lot of people know him.”
A total of 22 boats registered for the tournament, with a minimum of two anglers in some boats and up four to six people in other boats.
“We had a great turnout and there was a lot of people came and gave donations,” Tanya said. “We also had people that just came for lunch and they donated also.”
Anglers fished throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gauging the length and weight of the fish took place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Fred’s son, Chris Wolcott, grandson Wally Wolcott, and son Jeff Wolcott took first place for the overall weight.
Grayling angler Rodney Lobsinger earned second place in the tournament.
Mitchell Thayer and Devon Chalut, from Gaylord, went home with the third place prize.
“We had prizes from all over the place from guided fishing trips to a ton of local prizes,” Tanya said.
Fred Wolcott, who uses a wheel chair, was able to fish in the tournament and snagged a bass.
“The mission was to get him out in a boat, and he caught a fish, which was awesome,” Tanya said.
Thirty-three items were given to winners or raffled off during the tournament. Hot dogs, chips, pop and water were also sold as the event took place.
A total of $2,558 was raised, which was donated to the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation.
Anglers from the Upper Peninsula and one from Arkansas traveled to Grayling for the tournament.
“We had people come from all over to fish, so it was very huge success,” Tanya said.
The Wolcott family plans to make the tournament an annual event.
In January, Tanya and the Grayling Eagles Club Auxiliary #3465 held a Snowshoe Pub Crawl, which will also become an annual event. The fundraiser brought in $1,471 for the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation.