Balls & Chain Walleye tourney on Sept. 24

The fourth annual Balls & Chain Walleye Tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 24. The tournament will launch at the Kettle Falls Marina (Old Kettle). The tournament was created after its founder, Casey McKern of Kettle Falls, was seriously injured in a swimming accident that left him paralyzed from the collarbone down. During his convalescence and through the challenges of recovery, the Kettle Falls community did what it always does—come together to help a community member and his family. The fund-raising ran the gamut, from softball games, music festivals, auctions, fishing tournaments and numerous donations from residents. McKern and his family were overwhelmed by the support and the donations. Inspired by the aid and support he received from so many, the decision was made to start the Casey McKern “Pay It Forward” charitable organization. The Balls & Chain is an offshoot of that. The money from the tournament will be used to help a group, family or individual in need, just like McKern was. The format of the Ball & Chain is Jack & Jill fishing where the day starts with some creative and entertaining bribery (the better to raise more money for a very worthy cause), fishing, prizes (awarded hourly) and what promises to be a memorable steak dinner. Ending the day will be an awards ceremony and live auction. The tournament, originally started as a fund-raiser for the former standout Kettle Falls High School athlete, has evolved to become the “Pay It Forward” foundation’s principle fund-raiser. Last year’s tournament hosted over 100 contestants from across Washington state, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and beyond. For more information, go to or call tournament directors Ron Charlton (509) 675-5588; Kelly Charlton (509) 675-5750; Don Ghramm (509) 680-1650, or Anne Ghramm (509) 680-0410.