Triton Pro Keith Phillips takes 2007 BASS 'Hottest Rig Running' title!
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The winner of the Hottest Rig Running contest was announced at the Bassmaster Memorial presented by Evan Williams Bourbon, and the people have spoken.
They like Keith Phillips' unmistakable green, red, orange and blue on black boat wrap dedicated to helping the sick and disabled go hunting and fishing.
In front of the crowd gathered to watch the weigh-in beside Onondaga Lake, Phillips choked up as he accepted the first-place check of $10,000 for winning the fan poll, because his boat represents the Pursuing a Dream Foundation. The words "Share the Feelin'" are emblazoned down the side of his boat. Phillips tried to do just that, and nearly cried trying.
In November, Phillips received an invitation to go hunting with disabled children in Pearl, Miss. There he met Kirk Thomas, the founder of Outdoors Without Limits, which works with the foundation to organize hunting, shooting and fishing trips for people who have handicaps.
"He told me, it changes the way you look at life," Phillips said in an interview later. "It's to let people who are disabled know that there's stuff out there for them to do."
The organization arranges 500 events a year, Phillips said. On Phillips' deer hunt, he met the 6-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who now graces the angler's boat wrap. To raise money for the Pursuing a Dream Foundation, Phillips hopes to sell a thousand tickets at $100 apiece to raffle off his boat. He just got the go-ahead from Mercury, so it may not yet be available on his web site, but anyone interested in buying a ticket should check elitekeith.com soon.