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Fishing tourney to aid Trauma Center with Lee Memorial

By Staff | Jul 24, 2009

Southwest Florida anglers can face off Saturday in the 7th Annual David Lee Root Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament in Matlacha.
The event begins at 7 p.m. Friday with a mandatory captain’s meeting, and the tournament opens at 7 a.m. Saturday at D&D Matlacha Bait and Tackle.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital.
Each year the tournament registers 60-70 boats, said Dave Root, owner of the bait shop and event organizer.
Last year it raised $13,000 for the Trauma Center in Fort Myers — the only unit of its kind between Tampa Bay and Miami.
The Root family organized the first tournament after losing their son, David, in a car accident in 2001. Later, their son Dustin was in a car accident and the doctors at the Trauma Center saved his life.
Before benefiting Lee Memorial Hospital’s Trauma Center, the proceeds from the tournament went to the Pine Island Fire Department to purchase new equipment.
But, after Dustin’s life was saved, the family decided to start helping the hospital, Root said.
Anglers have to catch two types of fish in the competition, and each fish is measured.
“They have to catch two redfish and snapper,” Root said. “We aren’t sure what the payout will be yet, it depends on how many boats we get.”
Thirty teams had signed up as of Wednesday afternoon.
Each boat must pay a $50 entry fee, and a minimum of two anglers is required.
Organizers hope more residents sign up, but Root said that each year anywhere from 25-30 boats sign up the night before the tournament.
A barbecue will follow Saturday’s weigh-in, and organizers will give out prizes during 50/50 raffles and drawings.
According to Root, participants have a chance to win new rods and reels, kayaks, bicycles and grills.
Registration for the tournament is open until the captain’s meeting.
Anglers can register by calling the bait shop at 282-9122 or visiting the Web site at: www.davidleerootmemorial.com.