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Fishing tournament held for the visually impaired

Members of the Rowan Ramblers, a visually impaired group through Rowan County Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation Division, participated in a fishing tournament finishing third overall.
There were 17 visually impaired members and 11 sighted volunteers who participated in the 27th annual Visually Impaired Persons Fishing Tournament, held Oct. 12-14 at the Outer Banks.
Rowan participants in the tournament were: Dot Blair, Walter Chestnut, Buddy Craig, Vance Eller, Karen Foster, Loretta Freeman-Hills, Freda Horne, Derrick McKinney, Trey Morton, Anna Parker, Elizabeth Parker, Jenny Pickler, Jesse Smith, Don Srail, June Vanhoy, Sharon Weddington and Patsy Wryals.
The Rowan contingency swept the awards for the Nags Head Pier with Weddington taking third place with 5 pound 11 ounces, Srail taking second place with 6 pound 5 ounces and Wryals taking first place with 6 pound 13 ounces and also tied for first place for the largest fish caught at the tournament with a 1 pound 14 ounce croaker.
The Rowan County team finished in third place overall in the tournament with an average per fisherman weight of 3 pounds 4.9 ounces for a total of 56 plus pounds of fish. Group members will have a fish fry.
The Visually Impaired Fishing Tournament is hosted by the District 31-J Lions Clubs from the Outer Banks area. Sponsorship was also provided by the NC Lions Council, Lions Clubs from across the state and local businesses.
The Cleveland, Franklin-Ellis, Landis, Rockwell and Salisbury Lions clubs and the Rockwell Amvets contributed to the trip’s travel expenses.
Coy Ritchie donated his eight-passenger van for the trip.
Fishing is done from both head boats and piers, which charge a reduced/no fee for the tournament.
Therapeutic Recreation Supervisor Renita Ritchie organized the trip and accompanied the group to the tournament.

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