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The 13th Annual Greater Niagara Basseye Auction and Tournament June 26 and 27 could prove lucky for anglers and will be most fortunate for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation efforts.

This annual fundraiser, a creation of Bob and Mindy Rich, has generated more than $1.4 millions for Cystic Fibrosis research and programs.

Much of the funds comes from admissions and auctions held a 6 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the Basseye Competition at the NFTA Buffalo Small Boat Harbor.

Each year the fishing task is to amass good numbers of both bass and walleye that score enough team points to win. Each year the fishery, and weather conditions, present boat captains and Basseye teams a new and thought-provoking challenge.

This year, more than 35 boats will hit Lake Erie in search of big numbers and sizes of bass and prize ‘eyes to round out their catches. Last year walleye outnumbered bass; this year, who knows.

All who have attended the Thursday evening gathering at Rich’s Atrium on Niagara Street will be stunned to see the new Atrium structure. Rob Lederman will serve as emcee for the evening. Linda Pellegrino of WKBW-TV had hosted this event during all but one year. CFF Executive Director Gia Coone noted that Pellegrino will be honored at this year’s event.

Coone added, “We are excited to be back at Rich Atrium for our kickoff party. The newly renovated atrium is sure to create the perfect backdrop for a wonderful kickoff event. We are grateful to our sponsors and especially Bob and Mindy Rich for their terrific support over the years.”

For more than a decade, an unofficial competition has existed among celebrities, with Linda Pellegrino and Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly logging the highest attendance numbers. Kelly has always supported this and many other worthy, health-related fundraising efforts and is now dealing with serious health issues himself.

Bob Rich said this past week, “All of our anglers, captains, volunteers and friends are pulling for Jim and hope that he’ll be able to stop by our event on June 26 or 27 so we can personally pass along our best wishes to him.”

Events both days include excitement of an outdoors encounter that benefits people the Cystric Fibrosis Foundation strives to assist with a cure.

For sponsorship information and for Kickoff Party reservation tickets, call 204-2535 or visit Basseye.org.

email: odrswill@gmail.com