Bowfishing tournaments set to help girl fight cancer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 10:03 p.m. CDT
Karah Pollard, 10, sits on the lap of her father, Mark Pollard, in their home in St. Robert. Karah was diagnosed with cancer a little over eight weeks ago, and she is fighting hard with rigorous treatment.

For Guy Robert, it was a perfect fit.

Robert, a Columbia bowfishing enthusiast and tournament organizer, already had plans for a bowfishing competition next month centered in Jefferson City. Then he learned he could use the event to help out a good cause. 

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Donations can also be made to the Pollard family in the name of Karah Pollard at P.O. Box 15, Columbia, MO 65205

Karah Pollard, a 10-year-old girl from St. Robert, was diagnosed with cancer a little more than eight weeks ago. 

“It’s been hard,” her father, Mark Pollard, said of watching her lose weight and struggle to keep up her energy. "She gets frustrated because she gets tired so easily. She goes across the street to play, but she gets tired too fast.”

Mark Pollard said the family has already taken on more than $160,000 in medical bills in its fight against the disease, which for Karah is a nasopharayngeal cancer that has affected her throat and neck.

Robert heard about the situation from Derek DePew, a bowfisher from De Soto, who has also organized a bowfishing tournament the weekend of Aug. 4.

Robert worked with Missouri Valley Archery in Jefferson City to put on the 2012 Anything Goes Rough Fish Roundup, which now will donate proceeds from the event to a fund for the Pollard family.

The tournament, set for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 4, will precede the Missouri Bowfishers Lake of the Ozark Tournament, a night event which runs from 6 p.m. Aug. 4 to 5 a.m. Aug. 5. DePew has arranged for a new bow to be raffled at the Lake of the Ozark tournament to benefit the Pollard family, and Robert's tournament will help sell tickets for the raffle. 

Robert said he was happy for the chance to help the Pollards through bowfishing.

“It’s like it’s been God’s plan all along for these events to coexist and offer so many fortunate anglers the opportunity to get out and enjoy the day, maybe get the big one, and ultimately put a smile on this family’s face,” Robert said.

The Pollards will be on hand at the weigh in for the Lake of the Ozark tournament after receiving a free hotel stay in the area for the event.

Karah's mother, Shannon Pollard, said she was surprised there were so many people who would do so much out of the kindness of their hearts, but she is looking forward to her daughter's reaction.

“She gets a lot of out of seeing the community support her and show they care about her,” Pollard’s mother said. “It shows her people in the world are out there, and that she isn’t going through this alone."

Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.

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