Phil Niekro supports troops with a 'Fins & Skins' event

LAKE LANIER ISLANDS — The “Phil Niekro Fins & Skins Celebrity Pro/AM” will be held at Lake Lanier Islands Resort today and Saturday. The event includes a golf outing at Golf at Legacy today and a bass tournament on Saturday at Sunset Cove. Both events can be viewed by the public.

“It’s time for the community to step up to the plate and let the soldiers know we haven’t forgotten about them,” said Niekro, Hall of Fame pitcher and former Atlanta Brave. “They (our troops) are taking the bullet for me, and for you, and our families. And people sometimes forget to realize that. So we want to let them know how much we appreciate them by helping take care of them.”

Soldiers will also participant in the events.

The bass tournament will be held in conjunction with the season-opening event of the Bass Pro Shops PAA Tournament Series. The PAA will provide each team — which consists of an amateur fisherman and a celebrity — one PAA guide, fishing gear and a boat. The bass tournament concludes with a weigh-in at Bass Pro Shops in Lawrenceville at 3 p.m., when each team will weigh in their five heaviest bass. Fans will get the opportunity to take photos and get autographs of their favorite celebrities and professional anglers.

Niekro hopes the event will boost the morale of our troops and those who support them for years to come.

“This is our first year. We want to make this annual. Any company, any individual who would like to make a donation, put it where it needs to be … at Operation One Voice,” Niekro said.

Operation One Voice is a nonprofit organization that helps meet immediate needs of wounded or fallen Special Operations Forces troops and their families.

In addition to Niekro, scheduled celebrity participants include: Morten Andersen, Steve Bartkowski, Kevin Butler, Bobby Cox, Michael Finney, Karl Malone, Lou Piniella, Ron Reed, Dan Reeves, Chris Redman, Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith, O’Neil Williams and Robin Yount.

For more information, visit www.OperationOneVoice.org.