QUINCY -- Organizers of the ninth annual Quincy area Fishing for Freedom event say some additional volunteers are still needed for this year's event.
"Things are running pretty smooth, but we still need about 20 volunteers," said Erin Moore, the third-year director of registration for the event. "It looks like we'll have a record number of participants."
Fishing for Freedom honors U.S. veterans and active military personnel.
This year's event runs May 31 through June 2 with its customary Friday-through-Sunday format that treats participants to a weekend of catfish, crappie and bass fishing, plus other attractions.
Hotel rooms, a fish fry, band concert and banquet are all provided at no cost to the veterans and active personnel.
Participants from a record 25 states are registered.
Fishing for Freedom brings together veterans and active personnel with volunteer boaters and is funded by private donations and corporate sponsors.
"It's amazing how it has steadily grown over the years," said Holly Cain, executive director of the Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and also one of the Fishing for Freedom organizers. "This has also become a fantastic tourism event."
Counting veterans and active military personnel who will be competing, coupled with volunteers (many of whom are also veterans) and participants from the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, there will be more than 500 involved with this year's celebration.
The Quincy event's inaugural year was 2011 when it attracted 69 participants.
The Quincy event is considered one of the two largest Fishing for Freedoms in the nation. The other comparable -- or slightly larger -- Fishing for Freedom is near Fort Hood, Texas.
Moore said she expects no major problems for the event resulting from the recent flooding. Any needed changes in sites or format will be announced prior to May 31.
"Everything is pretty much proceeding as planned," Moore said.
Most of the fishing competition takes place June 1 and 2 on the Mississippi River, plus different sites in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.
Due to the recent flooding that damaged Clat Adams Park and other areas of the riverfront, the final weigh-ins on June 2 will be at the Quincy Mall.
"The Quincy Mall graciously offered to host the event at no cost," Cain said. "That should be a perfect setting."
The fishing tournament features the Allie Lymenstull Catfish Division, Staff Sgt. Matthew Weichert Bass Division and the Staff Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin Crappie Division.
Among the other events planned for that weekend are a meet-and-greet, trap shooting and "heroes" banquet.
For more information about helping or to register, visit FishingForFreedomQuincy.org or call Fishing for Freedom at 217-779-3811