Fishing with Réal Andrews
Lee King Charity Event
Lake Point, Eufaula, AL - June 6th, 2002
Well I am on my way home from what was probably one of the most awesome and moving events I have attended . This whole weekend started back in May while I was in Eufaula fishing the B.A.S.S Citgo Tour. I was approached by a man he was holding a package he politely introduced himself as Sam Williams and very humbly asked me if I could please take a look at this package when I had some time. He thanked me for my time and turned around to leave. I said wait , where are you going? I am in no hurry I said what's this all about. He proceeded to tell me the story of a very brave, courageous and inspirational boy named Lee King. Lee who was now 11 was diagnosed at 7 with a very rare terminal degenerative disease called The Niemen- Pick Disease Type C. There is no known cure or even anything to ease the discomfort it causes. Sam was gearing up for his 2nd Annual Lee King Benefit and he needed some help getting the word out I was very touched by Lees' story and knew at that moment this was something I wanted to be a part of so I said count me in & well the rest is History . The weekend started with me jumping on a plane to head for Eufaula, where I would meet up with my good buddy Derek Yamamoto of Kinami Baits. I had shared Lees' story with him & his Wife Amber and they didn't even hesitate to say how can we help .I met up with Derek at the Atlanta airport and we headed for the car rental and we were off. I was driving ( much to Derek's horror )so we made great time . We met up with my fishing partner Shane Durrance in Columbus. Derek had an aching for Sushi and wouldn't give it a rest until we had some. I was a little leery about Sushi in Columbus, Georgia. Shane assured us it was good and it was.
We than headed down to Eufaula to meet up with Sam & Polly Williams. Sam & Polly are the epitome of Southern Hospitality. They just welcomed Derek & I like we were family. I have since come to affectionately call them Mom & Dad. Anyway, after grabbing Derek's 3 big boxes of goodies for the kids, I mention Kids and Charity in the same sentence to Kinami Baits and they are all over it with give away baits, T shirts etc. . I love my sponsors.
Next we headed for The Lake Point State Lodge where Jim Royal was kind enough to comp our rooms. I woke up early as usual I snuck out to go get some coffee and when I opened the door the first thing I see is a Beautiful Stratos 21 XL Magnum. I tell you it was like being a little kid at Christmas. Denny Warren & the crew at Stratos had set me up with a boat to fish out of since mine won't be ready until August. So Jerry Franks, from Stratos drove the boat 6 hours from Tennessee. I can assure you there is no other boat company out there that treats you like this. I am truly blessed with my sponsors as you will notice as you read my recaps. They are not the norm. Well Shane & I loaded up the boat and we were off to pre fish. Pre fish was slow I only got one flipping a 7" Riverside ribbon tail worm. We had to come in at 9:30 to do an interview with the Local ABC affiliate WTVM News Leader 9 , but more importanty to meet Lee King and his Family. What an honor as well as very humbling. Lee & his family are truly an inspiration & I am very glad God put them in my life.
My next stop was Bo Gilmores' North Lake Dodge dealership for an autograph signing. When I walked in Bo had a large glass of Sweet Tea going, my new favorite drink. So I knew Bo would be good people and he was, all the Gilmores were I am not even sure how many there were every time I tuned my head there was another one. Patrick Johnson from the Eufaula Tribune also stopped by to catch up and take some notes. As well did Paige Green the Director for tourism stopped by to make sure everything was in order. The title is well earned when Paige walks in a room she lights it up with that Southern smile and makes you feel at right at home. The session went wel , but before it was over Nancy & Wendy Ferris from Stealth Charging showed up. What a great surprise. They had just drove 6 hours to show their support and hand deliver a Stealth Charger to give away. I am telling you my sponsors are special.
Next stop Chewallas Restaurant for a awesome Southern cooked meal the owner Pat Kott was kind enough to donate our meal . We then headed for the sign up and I got to meet all the fisherman and was able to share my Testimony. What a blessing. The local pastor Wes Bell was there and Reverend Terry Chupp from Team Jesus closed with a powerful sermon and then approximately 30 people gave their life to Jesus. Thank You Jesus. This was truly the most moving and important point of my life. For me to do Gods work. There is no greater honor. Well off to bed and dream of BIG BASS.
The day of fishing was slow and of course it was the first time I didn't bring a rain suit and it poured all day, pour is an understatement by the way. We caught 2 fish Carolina rigging Riverside 7 ' Ribbon Tail worms and one on a Riverside counter attack. This day wasn't about fishing though. It was about Lee King his plight and saving kids for Christ. All day when it was raining I felt like God was crying tears of Joy, some of his children had found their way home, and one of his most special children Lee King had made a bunch of new friends. When I watch Lee with his Mom how he responds to her and hugs her. I don't feel sorry for him or her I feel blessed. I can't wait to get back home and hug and hold my son and Wife. You see that is a very special gift Lee has to be able to give us. To let us know how lucky and blessed we our, how precious life is. Every moment that passes is another chance to change your life around. That we are all Gods children and he loves us all no matter who we are, what we are or the mistakes we have made.Jesus loves you and so do I. So I don't want you to make the mistake of not knowing your father. Jeremiah 33:3. It is that simple.
We finished the weekend off with a true Cajun dinner at the Cajun Corner, where the owner Susan Holloway also donated our meal. This was truly a great weekend. In closing I just want to say that life has so many traps and distractions that it is very east to lose sight of what is important .It is events like this and people like Lee King who put it all in perspective. If there is someone out there you have been meaning to call, someone you been meaning to tell them you love them, something you have been meaning to do a place you have been meaning to go. Whatever Don't put it off till tomorrow because there may not be a tomorrow and most importantly get right with God. When you leave this earth you only take three things with you .1)Who you loved 2) Who loved you and 3) What you have done as a Warrior in the name of Jesus. Everything else burns. Something to think about.
I want to thank all of you who have been so supportive. The People of Eufaula for all your great hospitality. I want to thank my sponsors Evinrude, Kaenon, Kinami, Kinesys, Phenix, Lowrance, Pradco, Stealth and Stratos but most importantly I want to thank Jesus.
The Niemen- Pick disease needs your help if you want to find out more about the disease or how you can help you can go to www.nnpdf.org. Lee King & Kids like him "Have only their childhood to live a lifetime."
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