The 26th annual O.C.A.R.C. Fishing Tournament is on tap for this weekend and the local fishermen are taking it awful serious. Starting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 2 and going through until 6p.m on Aug. 3. Bragging rights for the next year as well as $2700 in cash payouts are at stake, so you know the competition will be stiff. This annual event is a much anticipated happening, lots of folks look forward to this every year. In this case it is hard to believe that fishermen take a backseat at a fishing tournament, but this is no ordinary tournament and the folks who make it happen are no ordinary folks.

The Orange County Association for Retarded Citizens is a place that has perhaps the friendliest population of people in the world, if you don’t believe me you should go by and see for yourself. This center gives individuals who are mentally challenged a place to go and be productive, it gives them a chance to learn and experience things that they may never have had the opportunity to enjoy without the help of the folks at the center. The good folks at O.C.A.R.C. do an outstanding job of promoting and selling the services that these special folks provide. One routine visit to the sign shop at the center is likely to put a smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart, you cannot get in that place without one of the centers workers giving you a heartfelt greeting or handshake that rivals anything you might experience at a family reunion. These good feelings are what sets the O.C.A.R.C. fishing tournament apart from the rest.

All during the year there are plans being made and jobs handed out to all the folks at the center, each and everyone has an important part. The culmination of their efforts results in a tournament like no other, the good feelings just flow from every possible point. Each year it is wonderful to see the support for this event grow, anyone who has ever been to one of these will tell you that they always come away with a better outlook and appreciation for the people who put this tournament on as well as the people who benefit from the money raised at the event.

Undoubtedly there will be plenty of local fishermen watching the weigh in and cheering on the winners of each of the categories, the winning nor the cheering does not stop there. During the day some of the folks from the center get to participate in their own events and awards ceremony. As the trophies are passed out, each of the contestants is genuinely happy for all of the other folks fishing. Hugs, high five’s, and other forms of celebration are all part of the event that suddenly went from a fishing tournament to a celebration of a job well done.

I applaud all of the folks who make this event happen, each and every one of them is genuine and caring almost to a fault. Do yourself a favor and come out and support this super event, fishermen and spectators alike all go home winners.