Drew McNutt and Lee Bradford were sitting with their families at the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama waiting for their young sons to come out of heart operations.

They kept talking about how to give back to Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center and Children’s of Alabama for all they have done for Bradford and McNutt’s sons.

Bradford turned to McNutt and said, “Let’s do a fishing tournament.”

And the idea for Castin’ ‘N Catchin’ was born. McNutt said they spent all of 2015 planning for the fishing tournament. In 2016, the inaugural Castin’ and Catchin’ raised $107,000 for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center. In 2017, they raised $110,000. They raised $120,000 in 2018, and their goal for last year was to raise $150,000.

The McNutts and Bradfords partnered with the Jason and Lacey Simpson and Justin and Heather Stroud to put on the tournament. All of the money raised goes directly to the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama. The tournament raised $154,000 and hit the $500,000 mark.

This year’s Castin’ ‘N Catchin’ is set for April 25 at Goose Pond Colony Resort. There is a guaranteed grand prize of $5,000. Anglers can sign up online at www.castinncatching.org. Registration is $110. This year there will be a school division.

To enter into the school division, anglers must be active in a school team. Entry fee for the school division is $55. There is a $5,000 prize for the first-place winner. There will be an angler dinner the night before the tournament.

Jessica and Lee Bradford’s son Tucker was born October 20, 2014 and had the first of two open heart surgeries just eight days later. Another surgery followed when he was four months old. Today, Tucker is a happy little boy who is meeting all of his milestones and is doing great.

Andrew McNutt was born on May 3, 2014 to Drew and Jodie. Andrew underwent his first open-heart surgery four days after birth. After a few weeks stay at Children’s of Alabama, Andrew came home to Scottsboro. Drew and Jodie credit many prayers from this community in helping to bring him home. Now, after two heart catheterizations and another open-heart surgery on June 1, 2015, Andrew is a happy, playful four year old.

Jason Simpson, chief meteorologist from WHNT, his wife Lacey, their son Walt and daughter Shelby welcomed baby Brody to their Tennessee Valley family on May 8, 2015.

On May 21, Brody had his first surgery and it was successful. Although he has a few more surgeries in his near future, Brody is thriving and has one of the best smiles around! Jason and Lacey are grateful for the love, support, and most importantly, the prayers they have received from friends and family since the birth of Brody.

William Stroud was born on August 28, 2013. His parents, Justin and Heather, knew about William’s heart condition before he was born. At six days old, William underwent his first of three open-heart surgeries.

Despite the amazing efforts of the staff at the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Children’s of Alabama, William was never able to leave the hospital. William died January 15, 2014, but his parents honor his memory today by sharing his story.

For more information on Castin’ ‘N Catchin’, call 256.599.6060 or visit www.castinncatchin.org.

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