Catfish Jake Foundation: Smashville's favorite tradition sparks charity

(FOX 17 News)

Jake Waddell swam into Smashville stardom when he threw a catfish on the ice in Pittsburgh during last year's Stanley Cup Final.

Since then, "Catfish Jake" has used the publicity to give back to the community.

The Catfish Jake Foundation is trying to make a difference in three ways: helping those with heart defects, helping those with addictions and creating a musical scholarship.

Jake's youngest son, Brooks, had a combination of four congenital heart defects and has already underwent open heart surgery. The foundation's goal is to financially help families of children with heart defects through hospitalizations and raise awareness.

Jake's mom passed away from addiction at the age of 51, and now he's trying to reach out and help others in need. The foundation aims to provide addiction support.

The foundation also created a musical scholarship in honor of Jake's friend, Jamie Simmons, who passed away in a car accident this year. This scholarship could range from tuition support or helping to pay for an instrument for someone pursuing their musical dreams.

The foundation is hosting a June golf tournament, the "Instrument of Crime Cup," aptly named for wording used in a charge against Jake that was ultimately thrown out. Click here for more information.

Meanwhile, Catfish Jake is still the go-to guy for all of Smashville's catfish needs. Just on Sunday, Jake provided a 26-pound catfish for Titans' Taylor Lewan, which the football player later funneled a beer through in front of a hyped crowd.

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