After raising $80,000 for college scholarships and cancer research in its inaugural year, the 2nd annual Friends of Coal Bob Huggins Fish Fry is set for Friday, August 31 at the Morgantown Event Center.
The event, which is sponsored by Little General Stores, will he held from 7-9 p.m. and looks to be even better in its second year. Former Mountaineer basketball great Jerry West will serve as the key-note speaker for the evening according to coordinator and former Mountaineer basketball player Cam Payne.
"Jerry West will talk about his experiences growing up in the coal line and how he's been affected by cancer and how he's had people close to him affected," he said.
The Inaugural Bob Huggins Fish Fry in 2011 attracted nearly 1,000 guests, NFL wide receiver Randy Moss, and garnered coverage on ESPN.
"We were very pleased with last year, but looking back there are a lot of things we can improve on and wish we had done," Payne said. "And this year we're hoping to provide a bigger and better second fish fry."
All proceeds from the event go directly to the Remember the Miners Scholarship Program and the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. Those are two areas that everyone can either relate to or has been affected by in some way.
"Money for scholarships is the gift that keeps on giving and nothing is more valuable than a solid education," Payne said. "And cancer awareness is huge and the money going to cancer research will benefit everyone."
The Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Fund at WVU's Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center was created by the Huggins family to raise money for cancer research in memory of Huggins' late mother, Norma Mae.
Those in attendance will have the opportunity to hear West speak, while also meeting with Huggins and many of his former players and of course enjoying some fish fry.
"Huggins is one of the best at staying around and talking to everyone until they've left," Payne said.
Also attendees will be able to take part in innovative digital experiences by Bright Line interactive including West Virginia trivia and matching games on touch screens.
Tickets can be purchased at morgantowneventcenter.com for $125, while tables of 10 are available for $1,250, and children 12 and under are free. Ticket sales are expected to go until a day before the event and 150 have already been sold. Sponsorships also are available for the event and all questions regarding that and any others about the event can be directed at firstname.lastname@example.org
"West Virginia is defined by coal and coal miners reflect the hard working mentality that goes in with our sports teams. Our sports teams reflect hard work, team work and sacrifice. And that is a reflection of the people of the state and coal miners in general," Payne said.