Martinsville-Henry County to Host Fishers of Men Event
19 Feb, 2016
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Tourism Division announced recently that Martinsville-Henry County has been selected as host community for the 2016 Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail (FOMNTT) East Region – District 4 Championship Tournament.
The event, which was secured through a competitive bid process, will take place on Philpott Lake September 27 through October 1 and bring in 90 visiting fishermen with 45 boats.
This past September, Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Billy Russo, Director of Operations for the Smith River Sports Complex both traveled to represent Martinsville-Henry County and the state of Virginia at a sports business trade show.
During this trade show, Doss and Russo met face-to-face with more than 70 sporting event planners, including representatives from the Fishers of Men, to find viable prospects for local venues. In the months following the trade show, both Doss, Russo and their respective staff have been actively researching and pursuing prospective events. Russo has focused on events specifically for the Smith River Sports Complex and Doss focused on other venues such as Philpott Lake and Hooker Field. “Typically, the winter months are slower for area visitation and tournaments, Doss said. “So that gives us a good block of time each year to really devote to the bidding process.” Doss added that the bid process involves researching past events, securing partners and funding for the local organizing committees (LOC), and preparing proposals to submit.
Roger Adams, Director of Henry County Parks and Recreation, oversees the operation of Philpott Marina and has volunteered to serve on the local organizing committee for the tournament. “We’re delighted to have this event at Philpott Lake. The event will bring additional revenue to Philpott Marina and draw positive attention to the great fishing at Philpott Lake.”
According to Craig “Rocky” Rockwell, Operations Project Manager for Philpott Lake, “This is good news for Philpott Lake and a great opportunity for the community” Rockwell and his staff with the US Army Corps of Engineers also serve on the LOC and have granted an official user permit to hold the event.
The Fishers of Men Championship is a family friendly event and surveys conducted by past host locations indicate that each fisherman brings on average 3 guests with them to support and watch the weigh-ins. The event will feature three days of open practice followed by two days of competition and two public weigh-ins. The fishermen will stay at the Quality-Dutch Inn during their visit, which has been selected as the host hotel. According to Bill Bouvier, General Manager for the Quality-Dutch Inn, “We’re excited to have the opportunity to host the fishermen and help showcase the community.”
Prior to the competition days, all fishermen will attend a welcome dinner, presented by Patrick Henry Community College’s Culinary Program.
Additional members of the local organizing committee include representatives from Patrick Henry Community College’s Bass Club and Angler’s Choice Marine.
Shortly before local officials learned that MHC was selected to host the event, the January 2016 issue of SportsEvents Magazine hit newsstands. This national publication showcases potential locations for sporting events to take place and it featured Martinsville-Henry County, the Smith River Sports Complex and Philpott Lake and Marina in an article as Featured Destinations. According to Doss, “This national attention, is great for the area and keeps us on the radar of prospective event planners.”
Additional information on the tournament and area fishing resources can be found at www.VisitMartinsville.com/lakes or by calling 276.632.8006.
About Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia: The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.
The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.
About Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail: The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail (FOMNTT) is a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry whose mission is to introduce Jesus to fishermen and their families and to invite them into a relationship with Him, through bass fishing tournaments. What began in 1998 as a small four-division tournament trail with a total of 21 events through the first season has now grown into one of the largest fishing tournament organizations in the country.
During the most recent season, 44 team tournament divisions and 34 Legacy divisions combined for over 300 tournament events. All tournaments are team events, with each team consisting of two members. Legacy division teams are also two-person teams. However, a Legacy team is made up of one member who is 19 or older, and one member who is under 19. Membership and participation are open to anyone without regard to religion, gender, age, or race.