By Tatiana Ortiz

The water at the Edward Medard Reservoir filled with 25 boats all lined up with a total of 30 local service-disabled Veterans for a one-day fishing tournament. Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce produced their first Veterans Bass Challenge.

“We want the Veterans to have a day of peace and relaxation on the water, enjoying the natural beauty of Hillsborough County,” Executive Director at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce Christine Michaels said.

The participants of the tournament did divide into teams to compete for prizes, which consisted of three winners. Josh Everhart caught the largest Bass weighing in at 4 lbs. 14 oz. Edwin Quiros won top Veteran’s fish with his weighing in at more than two pounds. Boat captain Patrick Gleason took second place.

Josh Everhart from the S.O.D. (Shadow of Darkness) fish crew share his thoughts about winning first place. “It felt really good to be part of this event and I am quite surprised that I won,” Everhart said.

Bass Pro Shops and Power-Pole donated prizes to the winners. Bass Pro Shops in Brandon hosted a celebratory awards ceremony barbeque dinner for the Veterans. The public had the opportunity to join in the festivities with a $25 ticket to the dinner. Mission BBQ and Frankie’s Patriot BBQ provided the food that evening. Other sponsors of the event include Century 21 Shaw Realty Group, Bass Pro Shops, McDonald’s and HoneyBaked Ham.

Air Force Veteran Steve Jarrett gave his thoughts in regards to his participation in the Veterans Bass Challenge. “I had a great time and enjoyed being able to share this day with the disabled Veterans,” Jarrett said.

Overall, “I hope that we can continue the event because we had enough community support this year,” Michaels said.

For more information on the Brandon Chamber, visit It is located at 330 Pauls Dr., Ste. 100 in Brandon. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Call 689-1221.

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.