Brent Chapman and Jeff Sprague, two Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour anglers sponsored by Bloomington, Minnesota-based Toro, joined in for a spring clean-up event at the house of local Jasper, Texas, resident Kamrom Slaydon. Chapman and Sprague were joined by fellow pros Skeet Reese and James Watson.
Slaydon was raised in Jasper and graduated from Jasper High School in 2018. Immediately after graduation, Slaydon joined the U.S. Marine Corp. In January of 2019, at home in Jasper while on leave, Slaydon was severely injured in an accidental shooting which damaged his C4 and C5 vertebrae, causing quadriplegia.
Slaydon and his family are raising money to help with the expense of an epidural stimulator to help him regain as much mobility as he can in his upper and lower extremities.
When the MLF anglers learned of Slaydon’s story, Sprague and Chapman called in a few favors and the idea for a spring clean up event was born. Sprague and Chapman recruited their fellow competitors Reese and Watson and arranged for Toro distributor Professional Turf Products and local Toro dealer Scooter’s Lawnmower in Beaumont, Texas to allow them to use the equipment. The group of anglers spent a few hours on their day off doing yard work for the Slaydon family, mowing, trimming and blowing the entire residence.
“We wanted to do something to give back, and this is one of those things that maybe doesn’t seem like much, but it’s one of those chores that just needs to get done and we were more than happy to come out here and meet Kamron and do some yard work for him and his family,” says Chapman. “We are incredibly lucky to be able to fish for a living, so the least we could do on our day off is to come out here and give back a little bit and thank Kamron for his service to our country.”
“It really means a lot just for someone to reach out and want to help, and then to show up and be such a great help and great conversation,” says Slaydon. “I enjoyed meeting the guys and talking about hunting and fishing, and they cleaned up our yard quickly and efficiently.”
As a thank you to Slaydon for his service, the anglers donated a jersey autographed by many of the anglers competing in the Bass Pro Tour event at Sam Rayburn. The Slaydon family has a few upcoming fundraising events scheduled to help raise money for their medical expenses, so a second jersey was donated to raise money for their silent auction, and the semi-local Sprague donated a four-hour fishing trip on an East Texas fishery on behalf of Toro, also to be auctioned off.
“Even though we were working, we had a lot of fun today,” says Sprague. “The strength that Kamron has, and his perseverance to get through the obstacles that life has thrown at him are truly inspirational. My hat goes off to that young man and his family and I am grateful that we had the opportunity to give back a little bit and do our part.”