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Fishermen raise funds for bicycles
The Offshore Outlaws (from L to R) Kelley Clements, Rocky Mallard, Larry Garrett, Greg Barfield, Billy Meadows, Mike Stefanick and Kyle Christiansen. - photo by Photo by Jessica Holthaus

The Offshore Outlaws held their first official Annual Trout Tournament this past month, but proceeds from the tournament went to a lot more than just a pay out for the biggest fish.

Rocky Mallard and his fishing comrades decided to do something a little extra with the funds the tournament raised. In conjunction with the Bryan County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS), the group bought bicycles for every needy child in the county this Christmas.

"These are gonna be some happy kids," Offshore Outlaw Mike Stefanick said as he helped his fishing buddies unload the bikes off of a delivery truck at the DFACS office on Thursday, Dec. 20.

DFACS gave the fishermen a general list of families in both North and South Bryan County that could use a little extra help in making Christmas this year. The list included 30 children, ages 5 to 14-years-old. Originally, the group hoped to raise enough to do at least 25 bikes, but surpassed their own expectations and had enough for each child on the DFACS list after their Dec. 1 tournament.

"We weren’t exactly sure how much we’d be able to raise," Mallard said, noting the group would like to continue doing something like this each year. "We hoped to raise enough to buy a bike for everyone, and it turns out we were able to. We had enough to purchase all 30 bikes from Walmart."

DFACS Social Services Case Manager Advanced Yolanda Kennedy said the families didn’t even know they were going to be receiving the bikes.

"Some of the families don’t have transportation, so when we pull up to their homes with bikes for their children this Christmas, they’re going to be very happy," she said.

Kennedy said DFACS also appreciated all the help the local school district provided this year, noting they received a number of gift donations from schools throughout the county.

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