GROVE The Grand Lake Association welcomed the American Bass Anglers National Marketing Director, Debra Talley, to Grand Lake last week as she came to town to discuss the ABAs American Fishing Tour National Championship and to take a tour of the region.

"The ABA AFT National Championship will have a huge economic impact for our area," said Tad Jones, executive director of the Grand Lake Association. "We are extremely excited they are coming to Grand Lake."

The ABA AFT National Championship will bring over 500 fishermen and their families to Grand Lake for a week, Oct. 19-26.

The event will be held at Tera Miranda and the families will be staying all over the region.

The AFT is an amateur bass fishing tour that is made up of 92 percent of former and active military.

It offers more than 1,100 tournaments per year in 40 states that are designed for the weekend angler.

ABA is committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments for weekend anglers and at the same time offering each competitor a path to progress to higher levels of competition.

At this event, the top 500 amateur fishermen in the country will descend on Grand Lake to fish and visit area merchants and attractions.

Talley saw facilities and toured the area where they will hold several dinners and viewed what the area has to offer for all the families.

"We are so excited to come to Grand Lake for our event and I really enjoyed visiting the area," Talley said. "This is a beautiful region and I know all our members will enjoy coming to Grand Lake."

The event is projected to have an economic impact of $2 million to the area and during the tournament there will be a dinner hosted by Grand Lake Lodge and Casino and Bordertown Casino and there will be a final dinner, which will hand out over $300,000 in prizes.

"We want to make sure our guests want to come back and visit and we are going to put our best foot forward," said Marty Follis, president of the GLA. "We will provide tours for the spouses of the area attractions and shopping and I know everyone will love our hospitality."

While Talley was in Grove, the GLA hosted a dinner with representatives from the GLA and Tera Miranda to discuss the tournament.

Follis presented Talley with a gift basket from the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.

The GLA has requested for volunteers to help with parking boats and for helping coordinate different events around the area for the participants.

Those interested should contact the GLA at 918-786-2289 or email info@glaok.com.