Fishing derby raising money for wounded veterans

The Wounded Warrior project serves military veteran's across the United States. And a fishing derby set for this Saturday in Burlington Iowa, is going to help some of those veterans.

A Hamilton, Illinois woman has a keen interest in that fishing derby and she is doing all she can to get as many two-man teams entered in the event as possible.

Deborah Whitaker has three children who have either served in the military or are currently serving. And this coming weekend's fishing derby means a lot to Deborah because her son said he would take part in the event. But unfortunately, Dustin never lived to see that day. He died from injuries in a motorcycle crash earlier this year.

"So on Saturday afternoon, the day of his accident, I called him and asked if he would like to be in a fishing derby? And his exacts words were, "What's this for mom?" I told him it was for the Wounded Warriors Retreat and he said of course and I will catch the biggest fish," Whitaker said.

Deborah has gone around to area businesses and has managed to get enough sponsors to fill 32 boats for the derby. She said she feels overwhelmed sometimes at the outpouring of support she's gotten over the past several months. And now to be able to take some of the proceeds of the tournament and help fund a retreat area for wounded warriors, it means a world of difference for her and for some of the friends of her son.

"And we're here to help them because I think everybody in the long run needs to step up and give a little bit of time everyday for what they have done for us," Whitaker said.

For more information on Saturday's fishing derby in Burlington, you can go to their website at