The AlexStrong Foundation is raising money to support 7-year-old Nola Salling, who is battling leukemia.

The AlexStrong Foundation is hosting its seventh annual Bass Tournament to support a local Gibsonton kid battling leukemia on Saturday, May 13.

Nola Salling has been battling leukemia for two years now since being diagnosed at 5 years old. She is receiving treatment from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. Salling and her family are hoping she can get healthy enough to receive a bone marrow transplant to help fight the cancer.

“This is our seventh annual fishing tournament, and with these tournaments, and other fundraisers and the support of the community, we have been able to donate over $150,000 to local families in need,” said AlexStrong founder Lori Sumner.

The Bass Tournament will take place at the Grape Hammock Fish Camp on Lake Kissimmee, located at 1400 Grape Hammock Rd. in Lake Wales, for $60 per boat for one or two participants. The tournament will start at first safe light, followed by a weigh-in at 2 p.m. Participants can preregister on Facebook or register in person the morning of the event. Each pair can catch up to six bass, and first through third-place winners will receive a cash prize.

Following the fishing tournament, the AlexStrong Foundation will host a raffle. The raffle will have a mix of fishing/hunting gear, gift baskets, gift cards, kid items and other prizes.

In addition to raising money for Salling through the tournament and raffle, the AlexStrong Foundation is accepting individual donations and corporate sponsorships. Sponsor logos will be displayed on a banner at the event. All donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible.

“We are so thankful to the people that continue to donate and help support our mission to pay forward all the kindness that was shown to our family when Alex was sick. We love keeping his memory alive by helping other families,” said Lori.

The AlexStrong Foundation was started in memory of Alex Sumner, who died of cancer in 2017. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports families with children facing life-threatening illnesses. The money raised at the Bass Tournament will go to the Salling family to help fund treatments.

For more information on the AlexStrong Foundation or this year’s Bass Tournament and raffle, visit its Facebook page or contact Lori at 813-493-2557.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.