The ninth annual Pagnozzi Parker Big Bass Tournament, held April 17 at Beaver Lake, will give the athletics charity a boost for its scholarship program.
The nonprofit organization was founded in 1999 by Tom Pagnozzi, former St. Louis Cardinals and Arkansas Razorbacks catcher, to "provide scholarships to youth from low-income families throughout Northwest Arkansas, providing them with equal access to the same athletic experiences as their peers."
Kelley Atchley, executive director, tells me the need this year for scholarships is increasing as "most spring and summer kids' sports are happening again, and applications have been rolling in. The biggest way for people to help is by making an Adopt-a-Player donation" on the group's website, pagnozziparker.org.
"That way we can use their donation to assist with sports registration fees, purchasing necessary sports equipment that is appropriate for the children we are assisting, summer sports camps fees, etc.
"We expect more people will begin participating in sports the further along we get through the year," Atchley says, "and expect application numbers to increase with that as well. We are excited to be able to help these families again."
Benefit bass tournament winners were:
• First Place -- Tyler Hickman, 5.85 pounds;
• Second Place --Donny Sayaxomphou, 5.34 pounds.
• First place -- Reece Bariola, 4.44 pounds;
• Second place -- Cole Woodruff, 3.04 pounds; and
• Third place -- Ava Haymond, 2.13 pounds.
Shannan Moseley served as weigh master.
Organizers say Blake Parker, MLB pitcher and former Arkansas Razorback and Fayetteville Bulldog, joined the group in January 2019 "with the intent to help us reach our goals and achieve our mission for many more years to come. In February 2019, the organization was rebranded as Pagnozzi Parker Charities. The future hope of Pagnozzi Parker Charities is to continue to improve more and more the lives of our youth."
Scholarships help families pay for registration, uniforms and other fees associated with organized sports. The group also helps provide sports equipment.
According to the nonprofit organization's website, "to qualify for Pagnozzi Parker Youth Sports Assistance, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
• The child must be in kindergarten through eighth grade.
• The child must live in Northwest Arkansas.
• The sport being applied for must be located in Northwest Arkansas.
The parent(s) or guardian(s) must provide household proof of income for the past 30 days. If you receive food stamps, a copy of the food stamp verification letter may be submitted as your proof of income. Family must meet the same income and household member guidelines that the Department of Human Services requires school systems to use for free/reduced lunch program.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Big Bass Tournament
Who: Pagnozzi Parker Charities
What: Proceeds from the ninth annual event will boost the group’s scholarship program.
When: April 17
Where: Prairie Creek Marina in Rogers
Information: (479) 443-2550 or pagnozziparker.org