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Braxton’s Bobber Bash - ice fishing to raise awareness around pregnancy loss

Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 5:09 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Christopher Spath’s favorite thing to do is ice fish.

“Getting out, enjoying the weather, catching big fish,” said Spath.

When he and his finance, Amanda Mckown, found out they were pregnant with a boy three years ago, they knew they were going to name him Braxton, and they knew he would be ice fishing with his dad, often.

“That’s one thing he always pictured doing with Braxton,” Mckown said.

Today, they fish in Braxton’s memory.

“He’s not here with me but he is somewhere around. People are saying his name and we dont forget about him,” said Spath.

He and Mckown lost Braxton one week before their scheduled due date.

Mckown told WEAU,

“After that we felt lost and alone and didn’t know what to do.”

So, they created Baxton’s Bobber Bash, a way to remember their son and raise awareness for stillbirth prevention and research.

“The event started three years ago where we didn’t know what we were getting into and now its a large event where we have at least 100 people out here fishing and remembering Braxton,” Mckown said.

Spath even takes the day off his favorite hobby, to coordinate the event for others.

“We don’t fish, we don’t get any of the prizes or anything we’re just putting it on.”

Since the tournament started three years ago, sponsors have stepped up to help raise money and more people have joined in.

“For a lot of people it’s just an ice fishing tournament, so they’re coming out and having fun. For us it’s a way we can say his name and hear people talk about him. Our other three children we get to talk about them every day and so seeing people walk around with Braxton’s Bobber Bash t-shirts feels awesome,” Mckown said.

“I’ve got a ton of friends out here right now, family, uncles, cousins, they’re all here to support Braxton.”

Which means more money being donated to the Star Legacy Foundation, a non profit dedicated to reducing pregnancy loss.

“Parents who have lost children whether that be miscarriage, still birth or infant death, you’re not alone and you learn how to carry that grief every day,” Mckown said.

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