Church offers Sportsman's Expo

Vicky Newman-News-Herald

The man they call "America's favorite fisherman," Jimmy Houston, will be the star attraction for the third annual Sportsman's Expo, which will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Vonore. The church is located at 718 Church St. on Tellico Lake.

Houston will serve as weigh master for the fishing tournament on Tellico Lake. The tournament begins at 6 a.m. with a launch from Vonore City Boat Ramp and ends at 1 p.m.

After a meet-and-greet period, Houston will be special guest speaker for the event and will give a presentation at 2 p.m.

Houston's television program, "Jimmy Houston Outdoors," has consistently ranked as the No. 1 outdoors show on ESPN for 20 years and on other networks.

Loudon County resident Stephen Giles is an organizer of the event, which brought out a crowd of about 1,000 people last year. It offers free outdoor activity stations for everything from fishing, skeet shooting, BB shooting and archery, along with baseball, soccer, inflatables, basketball and rock wall climbing.

Free hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and drinks will be provided. A silent auction will offer a variety of items.

"We will have stuff for young, old items for young, old and everything in between," Giles said.

"Every single child that attends will go home with at least one door prize," Giles said. Door prizes include sports equipment of all kinds, gift cards from sporting retail outlets, caps, hats, T-shirts and more.

In addition, some participants in a three-question contest will win $100 cash. The $100 bills will be given out in the contest for every 100 people attending. The questions are simple, Giles said and will take only a few seconds to answer.

The Sportsman's Expo is an opportunity for families to spend time together in outdoor activities.

The fishing tournament is $50 to enter, and a 50 percent payback will be granted to winners.

The other half of the tournament proceeds will go to sponsor needy children at Christmas.

"Last year, we sponsored 52 kids at $100 each," Giles said.

Monster Trophy Whitetails TV will be filming during the day for a video, Giles said.

The Rev. Dennis Cagle, pastor of First Baptist Church of Vonore, said he believes it is good to get outdoors and among people.

"This is a good way to share God," he said. "Jesus spent little time in church. He was outside reaching people."