BRACEVILLE, Ill. Braidwood Station employees raised a record $67,000 for pediatric cancer research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago on Saturday, May 7 during the site's annual 'Fishing for a Cure' bass fishing tournament. This beats the previous record - $65,000 raised in 2014 for Coal City tornado victims.
Braidwood Station's signature charitable event has now raised $627,000 for local charities since it began in 2002.
For nuclear plant workers Brian Daniels and Mike Kap, this year's charity of choice held extra special meaning. Daniels lost his 2-year-old daughter Ashlyn to epilepsy in 2002 and Kap's 20-year-old son, Logan, still suffers from cystic fibrosis. Both children received treatment and care at Lurie Children's Hospital.
"We are so excited to see the overwhelming support from Exelon Generation, our co-workers, vendors and local businesses in honor of our families," said Daniels. "We want to help fight the cancers and diseases that impact children and this donation will make a difference."
'Fishing for a Cure,' Braidwood Station's signature charitable event, has raised $620,000 since 2002, when it was started as a way to welcome anglers back to Braidwood Station's cooling lake. Exelon pays for all the expenses of staging the event and 100 percent of the money raised through entry fees, employee drawings and donations go directly to that year's selected charity.
"What a fantastic fishing tournament with outstanding results for the research taking place each day at Lurie Children's Hospital," said Rachael Mayhew, coordinator of corporate partnerships at Lurie Children's Foundation. "Thank you to Exelon Generation and all the employees at Braidwood Station who worked hard over the past year to raise $60,000."
First place winners in the charity team bass tournament were Mitch Deland and Dan Marcolini, both of Plainfield. Matt Leimbach of Braidwood and Nick Stuedemann of Morris finished second while the father/son team of Neil and Justin Romines of Morris finished third.
Earlier in the day, an Exelon Kids' Fishing Derby was held at the Godley Park District's pond.
Local sponsors for the tournament included City of Braidwood, Reactor Services Inc., Allied Power, Angelo's Bait Shop (Wilmington), Berkot's Super Foods, Brieser Construction, Midwest Mechanical, Monical's Pizza, Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co. and Rachke Piping and Mechanical.
Braidwood Generating Station is one of six high-performing Illinois nuclear facilities owned and operated by Exelon Generation, and it provides carbon-free, reliable electricity to more than two million residents and businesses. Braidwood is located 20 miles southwest of Joliet, Ill., and has been producing carbon-free electricity since 1988. Nearly half of Illinois's electricity, and more than 90 percent of Illinois' carbon-free power, is supplied by Exelon Generation's nuclear power stations.
Check out the photos!
Braidwood Station employees, their families and other volunteers pose with representatives from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago with a big check signifying the $60,000 raised during the 2019 'Fishing for a Cure' charity bass fishing tournament.
Boats shortly before the bass fishing tournament begins on Braidwood Lake at the beginning of the adult fishing tournament.
An angler casts for a big bass near the south ramp of the lake with Braidwood Station in the background.
Children fishing from the banks of Godley Pond during the kids' fishing derby portion of the event. Exelon stocks the pond with catfish a few days before the event.
Kids Derby Winners Ethan Nichols (smallest fish) and Rilynn Daigger (biggest fish) pose with ESPN Radio's Chauncey Niziol at an awards ceremony luncheon after the derby.
Braidwood Station employees weigh some big bass following the adult tourney.
Winners Mitch Deland and Dan Marcolini pose with their trophies and cash for catching the biggest bass of the tournament. The pair won the $4,000 first place prize. Exelon pays all expenses for the tournament, including $10,000 in prize money so all money raised can go directly to the charity selected by employees
The top 10 finishers from 2019 'Fishing for a Cure' were:
- Mitch Deland and Dan Marcolini, both of Plainfield.
- Matt Leimbach of Braidwood and Nick Stuedemann of Morris
- Neil and Justin Romines of Morris
- Dave Berens of Minooka and Nick Olson of Morris.
- Dave and Melissa Sanders of Monee
- Francis Monnett of Willowbrook and Chuck Sabia of Channahon
- Rufus and Jason Eskew of Joliet and Willow Springs
- Robert and Sean Cook of Joliet
- Ray Cosentino and Tom Lebeda both from Braidwood
- Willie Thompson of Momence and Andrew Elizondo of Peotone.