Presidents Mid-Season Report…

Fellow HBC members,

We are already at the 2nd half of the tournament season. I would like to address how the this year has progressed so far and what the club has going on for the rest of this year:

First thing I want to acknowledge the loss of 2 of the club’s most devoted members, Don VanAcker and Tom Kespohl.

Tom Kespohl was the last of founding members still involved with the club. Harvester Bass club was formed in 1987 when Tom and a group of John Deere employees got together and put together a set of club rules for organized tournament fishing.
The club had 40-50 members back then and the solid foundation Tom and the founding members put together has allowed Harvester Bass Club to grow into the club we have today.
Tom coveted the sport of Bass Fishing and fished in many tournaments encompassing many other locations, including most recently a big bass tourney in Tennessee just a few weeks before his passing in which his 8.5lb bass won him $1500.
Tom and his family were solely responsible for starting and directing the Thursday morning circuit. His wife Carol and son Barry will continue his tradition of a well run Thursday tournament. We will be renaming it the “Team Kespohl Thursday Series” in their honor.
Tom was the 1st member I personally fished with in a tournament, ‘Johnny Cash’ they named him back then. Thanks Tom for your dedication to the club and sport of fishing.

Don VanAcker was also one of our longest standing club members. He was a constant presence at tournaments and meetings jumping at every chance to pitch in regardless of whether he was fishing or not.
He drove great distances just to be at weigh-ins and to help if we needed it. He was more than willing to step up and fill an open club officers job to ensure the club was successful. Don was well known for keeping meetings entertaining and debates lively for all who were present.
In honor of Don, I will be proposing a new club “volunteers” tournament starting next year. I will put this up for a vote at our first meeting on Sept 11, it will be named the ‘Don VanAcker Volunteers Tournament‘ it will be for everyone who pitches in to make a better club.
My idea is a no money, 1 big fish tournament at Lost Grove lake with gift certificates for prizes.
I only wish Tom and Don would have had the opportunity to be involved!

The club has invested some money on equipment and software this year.
We purchased a new Scale System, new Laptop Computer, and new Tournament Software. Additionally we invested in this new Website.
All this was well researched, purchased, and set up by member Bill Kennedy. He has done an outstanding job and the club owes him a great deal for bringing us forward.
His next project for the website is to allow members to pay their yearly membership dues on the website, this will make things much more efficient and manageable. He hopes to have this available this fall for the 2019 membership dues.
Bill has also been keeping tournament results and points up to date much better this year with the new software and website, I’m sure everyone has noticed.
REMEMBER…Any questions, comments, ideas, or corrections can now be quickly submitted on the comments page of this website. Any submissions on the website go directly to myself and other officers. Please use and enjoy this site, it was created as a communication portal for present and future members!

As stated earlier our 1st meeting is September 11 at 7pm.
I am excited to also announce that we have a new location to hold our monthly meetings. The River House in Moline.

First meeting Agenda:
It is imperative that we select our tournament dates and locations much earlier than the past few years. This will allow the club to have a better selection of dates and locations.
We will also be organizing the February banquet which is tentatively set for Saturday Feb 2nd at The River House. There are a variety of menu items for us to vote on and the prices per person should be somewhat less than years past.
I will want to discuss the volunteers tourney I mentioned earlier at this first meeting. We have a few members that have been pulling double duty as club officers and tournament directors, we shouldn’t expect only a hand full of members to take care of all club duties. Recently we have come close to a club shutdown before additional members step up and volunteer to help. I am excited to start the ‘Don VanAcker Volunteers Tournament‘ in 2019. This tournament is proposed as a fun day to say THANK YOU for those who step up as Tournament Directors and/or assist with weigh-ins, Volunteer as Club Officers, those who bring in multiple Club Sponsors for the club, or help organize the banquet and prizes. This will be a no entry fee tournament, my goal is to have enough prizes for all who Participate.
If you have been a volunteer in the past, THANK YOU!
If you have not yet volunteered, we can always use the help…
Anyone wanting to be a club volunteer can contact us through the website. Don’t forget, even if you don’t have the time or ability to help with club duties, you should come to meetings and help prepare for our next season. Your input at these meeting is extremely important!
Every member that shows up, helps us keep moving forward!

I am proud to say tournaments have been running smoothly this year with no safety issues!
We continue to bring in new club members, this year we are over 175 active members, which is a very large club on any scale.(pun intended)

If you have any thoughts or comments on the topics mentioned above please post them directly below in the comments section, I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!!

Good luck in the second half of the season, tight lines and always BE SAFE!

Dave Ripple
Harvester Club President