Outdoor Corner: Dreams come true at upcoming bass classic

Lyle Johnson
Lily and T-Quin Suir with a 32-pound catfish they caught off their pier in the Atchafalaya river with pawpaw Paul Suir on April 17.

At one time or another, all of us have had dreams that we wished would come true. Most of the time these dreams seemed a little far fetched while sometimes they would seem impossible. Nevertheless we hold on to them, sometimes forever, whether they come true or not.

In 1982 there was a group of seven families in Denham Springs, Louisiana that made a decision to help some of those seemingly impossible dreams come to life, and Dreams Come True, Inc. was formed.

The goal of this group was to provide funding (or whatever it took) for local area children with life-threatening illnesses to have their dream of a life come true. All funding was initially provided by those families but that vision has exploded over the years to have fundraisers throughout the year.

That would be a great reason to join Dreams Come True on May 4 for a day of fun at the South Louisiana Crawfish Boil Craft and Car Show at Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. For a $5 dollar entry fee you will be treated to crawfish boils, competitions, kids' activities, three great local bands and more. The day will surely be fun for the whole family.

All proceeds from the event will go to help making our dream kids' dreams come true. Rain or shine come join us for a day of family fun and help support our dream kids. More information and online registration coming soon.

Along with the great events that will take place is a first-time Dreams Come True Bass Classic that I have the privilege of emceeing. The Classic is a trailer tournament that will have two check-in points, St. James Boat Club and Bayside Tackle in Pierre Part. The weigh-in will take place at Lamar Dixon during the other festivities.

The entry fee is $110 per each two-angler team, and it includes the Big Bass pot. After checking in the teams can head for their chosen spot. All private and posted areas are off limits, and all public waters east of LA 1 are open for fishing.

There will be an official rules meeting at Fred's on the River in Port Vincent April 30 at 6:30 p.m. Teams must attend this meeting to be eligible for a $50 side pot. The side pot will pay back 100 percent and one place for every 10 boats will receive 100 percent side pot payback. Seventy-five percent of all entry fees will be paid back to anglers. Contact Dave Cavell 225-937-0046 or Tammy Campanile 225-405-2478 for all the Bass Classic information.

Teams of anglers can also sign up at Ascension Living and Outdoors, and 10 percent of the purchases made by registered anglers will be donated to Dreams Come True of Louisiana.

A decision was made by the group that their work would remain focused on the South Louisiana area. Just like any other great idea and years later, that vision has expanded to other regions of Louisiana.

The group incorporated in 1982 as a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. The Dreams Come True organization was envisioned, and still is considered a local, home grown alternative to larger organizations of much broader boundaries that provide dreams and wishes to children.

To reflect this, the name was changed in 2006 to Dreams Come True of Louisiana, Inc. While many worthwhile organizations work toward a similar goal, Dreams Come True is proud to have one paid employee and to have expanded throughout the entire State of Louisiana.

The all-volunteer board has remained focused on the single goal of bringing joy through granting dreams in Louisiana. Recently, Dreams Come True has granted most dreams in the Southern Louisiana area from Lake Charles to New Orleans and Shreveport to Morgan City. However, we will grant dreams statewide to all who qualify. Approximately 75 to 80 dreams are granted throughout the year.

If you think someone in your family or someone you know might qualify, please visit "Refer a Child" at the website. Children ages three through 18 with a life-threatening illness who reside in Louisiana are eligible to apply.

Those between the ages of three and 18 are eligible to receive a dream after the medical review board of Dreams Come True determines that the nature of their illness does qualify them as a recipient. Children who have had a dream granted by any other organization will not be considered.

The dreams that the kids have start out fairly simple. But because of the big hearts of the organizations or celebrities the end result is usually more than the kids can even imagine.

A point in case was a young man named Quintin Case. Quintin was a very adventurous 16-year-old boy and did it all. He enjoyed football, baseball, hunting, fishing, a true outdoorsman.

Quintin had an injury from football and while being treated he was diagnosed with Metastatic Osteosarcoma. His parents Cy and Christine applied for the "dream." His dream was to go see a Chicago Cub game and stay in a luxury hotel like his favorite movie "Field of Dreams."

Thanks to former LSU star second baseman and all-star second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Ryan Theriot, Quintin got to sit in the dugout before the game started. To add icing to the cake he got to throw the first pitch at the game, visit the locker room, and was given a signed baseball, Cub jacket and hat. He stayed in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel. Quintin's dream was granted the week of June 12, and on July 21 Quintin passed away at the age of 16.

South Louisiana and especially Ascension Parish always responds to folks in need. I can't think of a better way to spend some of our time and money to help make Dreams Come True. Until next time, remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. Be safe in the outdoors and may God truly bless you!!

Lyle Johnson is a free-lance writer, co-host of Ascension Outdoors TV and Curator of the Louisiana State Fish Records. He can be contacted at

Outdoor Calendar

EASL Monthly Meeting: 3rd Monday every month, East Ascension Sportsman's League meeting held at Gonzales Fire Dept on Orice Roth Rd. starting at 7:00 p.m. A meal served and special speaker will be in attendance.

Wednesday Evening Bass Tourney: Every Wednesday at Canal Bank from 5:00 p.m. until dark. Fee $40/boat, one time registration fee of $40 going toward the Classic Tournament. Weekly event through spring, summer. Call Canal Bank for information. 225-695-9074

Dreams Come True Bass Classic: May 4 held in association with the Crawfish Festival at Lamar Dixon. $110 entry fee per team with a $50 side pot for attendees of captain's meeting April 30 at Fred's on the River. Contact Dave Cavell 225-937-0046 or Tammy Campanile 225-405-2478 for all the Bass Classic information.

Anything Outdoors Helping Kids Frog Rodeo: Postponed until June 15 due to high water. Save the date!!

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