Fishing News

Annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament raises more than $385,400 for Terry Heart Institute

Three-day tournament and boat drawing have raised more than $7 million for Wolfson Children’s patients since 1989.

Last week, more than 1,000 anglers from across Florida and the Southeast took to the St. Johns River for the 35th annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament. The tournament, which takes place in Palatka, Fla., has grown to become one of the largest bass fishing tournaments in the state since it began in 1989.

The three-day event featured different competitions each day, with the main tournament on Saturday, May 18. Parker Stalvey of Green Cove Springs, Fla., and Syler Prince of Palatka, Fla., won first place overall with a five-fish aggregate weight of 27.79 lbs.

The duo is no stranger to the annual tournament. Stalvey has competed for several years and finished in 10th place last year. Prince took home first place in the Lads & Lasses competition in 2023 and first place in the VIP & Friends event two years ago. 

Second place went to the father-son team of Joe and Joey Cotromano of Yulee, Fla., with a total weight of 23.61 lbs. Third place went to Terry Mullis of Ocala, Fla., and Miranda Crews of Charlton, Ga. The father-daughter team had a total weight of 23.52 lbs.

During the VIP & Friends Tournament on Friday, May 17, Thomas Boney of Fruit Cove, Fla., and Tyler DeRuiter of St. Johns, Fla., took home first place with a five-fish aggregate weight of 23.60 lbs. Derek Daniels of Macclenny, Fla., and Michael Johnson of Raiford, Fla., came in second place with an overall weight of 22.77 lbs., and Tim Mann and Troy Ray of Jacksonville, Fla., came in third with an overall weight of 21.35 lbs.

The first-place winners of Thursday’s Lads and Lasses Tournament were Brian and Michelle Sousa of St. Augustine, Fla., with a five-fish aggregate weight of 25.25 lbs., followed by Chris and Nikki Cercy of Middleburg, Fla., in second place with an overall weight of 20.42 lbs. Camren Teuton and Ryleigh Hansford of Palatka, Fla., placed third with an overall weight of 20.23 lbs.

Winners took home more than $48,000 in cash prizes.

Reeling in hope

The 2024 Bass Tournament raised more than $385,000 in sponsorships and donations for the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Heart Institute at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. All proceeds help to fund life-saving cardiology and heart surgery equipment and state-of-the-art technology.

In 1989, the Plant Facilities Department at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville organized and launched the tournament to help fund capital improvements and new technology. The event has raised more than $7 million for Wolfson Children’s and the patients treated there.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to every angler and member of the community who joined the tournament or secured a ticket for our annual boat drawing. It’s because of their support that Wolfson Children’s can continue its mission of providing world-class care close to home,” said Allegra C. Jaros, MBA, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of children and families across Northeast Florida and beyond.”

While the anglers may have put away their rods and reels, there is still time to support the cause through the annual bass boat drawing. For a suggested donation of $20, anyone can enter a drawing for a chance to win a 21’ 2024 Bullet Boat model 21XRS with a trailer, courtesy of Bullet Boats, valued at $97,000 (Mercury motor to be included).

Like the tournament, all proceeds from the boat drawing benefit the Terry Heart Institute. Ticket sales close Friday, May 31, at noon, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, June 1. Tickets can be purchased online at

“For 35 years, thousands of anglers, volunteers, sponsors, the City of Palatka, and many others have united for one important cause, supporting Wolfson Children’s Hospital and its patients,” said Sam Dean, tournament co-chair and Baptist Health System Director of Plant Facilities. “This tournament wouldn’t be possible without their support, and we are grateful for their recognition of the event’s impact year after year.”

Top sponsors for the 2024 tournament included:

  • Title Sponsors: Miller Electric Company and W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractor, Inc.
  • Grand Sponsor: Facility Automation Solutions
  • Ambassador Sponsors: Baston-Cook Construction, Fickling Construction, Inc., Perry-McCall Construction, Inc. and Smith Brothers Plastering Company, Inc.

The 36th annual Wolfson Children’s Hospital Bass Tournament is scheduled for May 15-17, 2025. Early bird registration for the Saturday tournament is now open online until Saturday, June 8, 2024, at noon.

Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of members of our community. To support Wolfson Children’s Hospital, please visit

About Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville
Nonprofit Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Wolfson Children’s is the only children’s hospital in Northeast Florida and serves as the pediatric referral center for North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 281-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, traumatic injuries, and more. Wolfson Children’s collaborates with pediatric organizations, including Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, the University of Florida College of Medicine — JacksonvilleEmergency Resources Group, and Mayo Clinic Florida. A Magnet™-designated hospital since 2010, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has been named among the U.S. News & World Report 50 Best Children’s Hospitals year after year, and in 2023, was selected as one of only eight children’s hospitals in the country as a Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital, a recognition of patient quality and safety. For additional information, please visit

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check Also
Back to top button