April Conrad is a woman of great beauty, inside and out.
For the past five years, she and husband, Will, have brought the crème-de-la-crème of fly fishing together to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The brainchild of the late entertainer Danny Thomas, the hospital specializes in research to fight cancers that strike children. Anything researchers discover that can prolong a child's life is quickly shared with the medical community, so children anywhere can benefit.
Conrad was a pretty good golfer at Pepperdine University. She even made it to the professional ranks before an injury ended her golfing dreams. While still a professional golfer, she headed to Memphis to meet some friends at the FedEx St. Jude Classic (now the Stanford St. Jude Championship).
One thing led to another, and some of the St. Jude's volunteers took her for a visit to the hospital. You can't visit St. Jude without being profoundly moved. They asked her to come back later that summer to be the guest professional at the Ladies of St. Jude golf event.
April agreed, and wound up giving a golf lesson to a little girl who was a patient at the hospital. Meeting the girl and her family changed April's life.
It spawned the idea of having a fly-fishing fundraiser for the hospital, based on how a celebrity golf tournament is run: Instead of golfing with a celebrity, you pay to fish with one of fly fishing's most notable names.
Like I said, it's the crème-de-la-crème of that small community.
Flip Pallot, Jack Dennis, Rick Ruoff, Mel Krieger, Jason Borger, Mike Lawson, Gary Loomis, Lori-Ann Murphy to name a few.
A strong ESPN contingent shows up, too, including Cindy Garrison, Capt. Jose Wejebe, Chad Foster and Tommy Sanders.
And a few sports greats like John Havlicek and Ed Marinaro also drop in to fish.
The result is more than $200,000 raised in the event's five years.
The 6th Annual Hooked on a Cure Celebrity Fly Fishing Classic for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will happen this year, Sept. 16-18 in Vail, Colo.
A beautiful cause.
And April Conrad - a beautiful woman inside and out.
For more information, please visit www.hookedonacure.com.