As the “2018 Huk Bassmaster Elite,” tournament gets underway, State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured $20,000 to help the Village of Waddington cover costs associated with promotion of the event.
Held Thursday through Sunday at Whitaker Park, the tournament—which takes place on the St. Lawrence River—is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the Village of Waddington. The tournament will feature top bass anglers from across the globe, as well as family events, live music, food vendors and more.
“The Thousand Islands region has so much to offer when it comes to tourism, and the Bassmaster Elite gives us an opportunity to showcase—for the world—all of the reasons why the North Country is the perfect place to do everything from fishing and boating to camping and sightseeing,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am pleased to have secured this funding, and would like to wish the Village of Waddington the best of luck as it begins to welcome people from across the globe to St. Lawrence County for the ‘2018 Huk Bassmaster Elite.’”
This year is the fifth time in seven years a Bassmaster tournament has been held on the St. Lawrence River, and Bassmaster has already committed to returning to Waddington in 2019.
“Last year, this tournament was an overwhelming success, despite the high water levels of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. This year we are excited to get things back to normal and we expect the 2018 tournament to be the best yet. We are certain that with Senator Ritchie’s help, and she’s always there for us, our entire community and all of St. Lawrence County will benefit from this amazing weekend,” Waddington Mayor Janet Otto-Casada said.
Funding delivered by Senator Ritchie was secured in the most recent state budget intended to help communities in areas of the state whose 2017 tourism season was negatively impacted by historic flooding on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.
This announcement is just another example of how Senator Ritchie has been leading the fight to help communities impacted by flooding recover. She recently announced relief and recovery funding for flood victims doubled in the new state budget to more than $80 million dollars, which will ensure all 3,500 expected eligible applicants—including 1,100 from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties—receive the support they need to recover from last spring’s historic flooding.