Matlacha Hookers kick off fund-raising for annual charity fishing tournament
By MARIANNE PATON
Autumn brings cooler temperatures, the gradual return of our snowbird population and numerous fund-raising events. The first event of the season will take place on Oct. 18 when the Matlacha Hookers present the annual Adult Fishing Tournament and Kids Derby. This well-attended event offers students of Pine Island Elementary School an opportunity to fish in a competitive, yet friendly atmosphere, while adult anglers vie for cash prizes and bragging rights.
In order to fully utilize this popular event for the betterment of the community, the Hookers have come up with several ways to get the most from this fund-raiser by offering participants and visitors to the event several ways to make a donation to the elementary school. In addition to tournament registration fees, auctions, raffles and other activities that take place during the day of the event, this year’s official tournament T-shirt is now on sale.
The design for year’s T-shirt was determined by popular vote from the members of the Hooker organization. The winner is a whimsical design created by Pine Island Elementary School teacher and former Mango Queen Theresa Roach. The colorful design depicts two youngsters fishing from a dock and the shrimp boat the “Miss Ronnie” can be seen in the distance.
Sponsoring the T-shirts this year are Seven Seas Bait and Tackle, Traders Hitching Post, WildChild Gallery, Bert’s Bar and Grill and the Matlacha Mariners all of Matlacha. Also mentioned in the shirt design is the host facility for the event, Olde Fish House Marina in Matlacha.
The shirts are now available for the cost of $13 each and can be purchased at the following locations:
Woody’s Waterside Restaurant, Island Grill, Bert’s Bar and Grill, Pine Bay Gallery and Gifts, Mulletville, WildChild Gallery, Lazy Flamingo, Doc Watson’s Liquor, Sandy Hook, Little Lilly’s Island Deli.
In addition to the T-shirts, registration forms for the adult tournament and child sponsor forms can also be found at several locations, including D&D Bait and Tackle, Seven Seas Bait and Tackle, Traders Hitching Post and B&B Bait and Tackle in Matlacha, at the Grab Bag in Bokeelia and at the Olde Pine Island Marina in St. James City.
Proceeds from the shirt sales will benefit Pine Island Elementary School and other island charities supported by the Matlacha Hookers.
In addition to selling the T-shirts, the Hookers also are seeking donations of items to be auctioned or raffled off. During the tournament, participants and visitors can participate in a silent auction and place bids on a variety of items such as weekend getaways, artwork, potted plants and services provided by several island merchants.
The Hookers will also offer three Chinese auctions to be drawn over the course of the afternoon on the day of the event. The items for the Chinese auction will be presented in baskets, many of which will have a theme. Baskets in the past have contained items specifically for children, babies and pets as well as gourmet food items, toiletries, sports collectibles, cheese and wine, kitchen gadgets and more.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Chinese auctions is asked to contact Arlene Stornello at 745-5723, and for silent auction donations, call Mindy Coster at 283-4119 or Susan Brost at 677-8311.