Participate in fishing tournament

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Saturday, June 16, is of the third annual Christopher Ray Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament.

The event was started in 2010 in honor of Ray, who in 2009 at age 22, was killed in a car crash while working as a deputy for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. This year’s tournament will be held at the Hercules Boat Ramp and run from 7a.m. to 2 p.m., and for the first time, includes a beef barbecue from 6 to 8 p.m.

For $25, you can come out and enjoy barbecue, beverages and music. A $30 registration fee will get you into the fishing tournament and includes a commemorative T-shirt and the barbecue.

Like many of the wonderful social events that take place in the community, this fishing tournament raises money to fund a scholarship for a student pursuing a career in public safety. The first two tournaments have raised over $5,000 each.

Christopher Ray was a 2009 graduate of Radford University, where he received a degree in criminal justice before joining the Sheriff’s Office on June 1.

As much as it is a legacy to Ray’s dream of a career in law enforcement, the tournament is a memorial to his love of fishing, specifically his love of fishing with his childhood friend and tournament founder, John Barksdale.

Barksdale’s efforts to raise money for a good cause and to honor the life and legacy of his good friend are to be commended.

Tickets are available, and for the price of admission, you’ll get more than just good food and good fishing. You’ll help send a student to college, and help Christopher Ray’s friends and family honor the memory of one of Southampton County’s finest who left us too soon.