B.A.S.S. and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation are accepting nominations for their annual humanitarian award recognizing the important work being done by many anglers to support fragile populations. The C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award will honor one B.A.S.S. member who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to serving groups such as children with special needs, veterans, abuse survivors or people who need extra help and support.
“We are proud to collaborate with the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation to honor the many volunteers in both of our organizations who make such a positive impact in their communities,” said B.A.S.S. chairman and CEO Chase Anderson. “While only one person will receive this award, we hope it will spotlight the incredible work being done by so many of our members across the country.”
The 2021 C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award honored Allen Nation, founder and executive director of Adaptive Sports for Kids, during the 2021 Bassmaster Classic. Nation, of Orange, Texas, was selected by a panel of judges from a strong field of nominations for his deep commitment to encourage kids of all ability levels to get outdoors.
“Having a daughter with special needs and enjoying playing a sport, it was only natural to do what was needed to make that happen,” said Nation. “There isn’t a better feeling than watching a child smile after playing a sport they never thought they could or would. They feel a sense of belonging. We get the pleasure to see these athletes grow in size, age, maturity and their abilities through the years.”
Adaptive Sports for Kids is a nonprofit founded in 2011 that gives children and adults with special needs the opportunity to play sports they may not otherwise be able to play, all at no cost to them. Each athlete is partnered with a “buddy” volunteer who will help their athlete with whatever they need; whether it’s batting, running, pushing their wheelchair or just playing alongside them.
To be considered for the award, a B.A.S.S. member must be nominated by Feb. 4. Any member doing exemplary community service will be considered. The nomination form can be found at Bassmaster.com/award.
The executive director of the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation is Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jay Yelas, who is one of the most decorated anglers in the sport. After serving on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 10 years, Yelas took over as his post in 2015.
“The sport of bass fishing is full of folks with big hearts who enjoy serving others; we meet them all the time at C.A.S.T. for Kids events,” said Yelas. “I think it’s significant that the C.A.S.T. for Kids B.A.S.S. Humanitarian Award exists to recognize and show appreciation to those in the B.A.S.S. family who serve their community well.”
Judges from both B.A.S.S. and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation will review all nominations as well as verify the humanitarian work of the honoree. It is important to note that, while C.A.S.T. for Kids focuses on giving special-needs kids fishing opportunities, the nominations are open to B.A.S.S. members doing any form of good work to help a fragile population. The winner will be announced as part of the festivities surrounding March’s Bassmaster Classic in Greenville, S.C.