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Melanoma Madness fishing tourney Saturday

By Staff | Oct 16, 2015

Judy O’Connor King has battled melanoma for 10 years, and as long as she doesn’t give up the fight, neither will her family and friends.

As a tribute to her courage, there will be a Melanoma Madness fishing tournament and BBQ to be held Saturday at the crack of dawn at Tarpon Point Marina, with proceeds going to her so she can continue her fight against this disease.

There will be cash prizes for the event, including $1,500 for the winner for the largest catch of a redfish, snook, trout and a mystery fish to be disclosed at the captain’s meeting.

Kathy King Lilly said the idea came about in August when her son and nephew participated in a fishing tournament.

“They were on the boat and decided ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could do a fishing tournament for Judy,'” King Lilly said. “They got the wheels going and the tournament evolved.”

Because of its last-minute nature, they weren’t able to utilize the media to promote the event. They were able to get everything they needed to get done finished, utilizing social media and word-of-mouth to get the community involved.

O’Connor King, who has a husband and four children, was diagnosed with melanoma in 2005 and has gone in and out of remission. In 2010 stage received a Stage 4 diagnosis, but exhibited strength and courage that has allowed her to continue living.

But it has been at a heavy cost financially. She has had to deal with year’s worth of medical bills, lost income, and travelling costs associated with her experimental treatments in Houston that occur every two weeks.

“You can imagine the expense involved in the airfare and travel and having to fly out every two weeks. It’s mammoth for them,” King Lilly said. “But she’s a trouper. She never gives up no matter what comes up. She just keeps on.”

There will be an honor start, which means the captains can go out without reporting to the marina. Weighing will be held at the marina between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

After the competition, there will be a barbecue dinner at the marina dock near the Harbor Master House at 3 p.m., which will include an auction, raffles and live entertainment with the band Unforgiven.

More than 100 prizes for the live auction and raffle have been collected and donated by family and friends. Also, as of Thursday more than 50 boats had already registered for the fishing tourney.

“We’ve had calls coming every day with people asking what they can do,” King Lilly said. “We won’t say no to a volunteer or a donation.”

Those interested in fishing must be registered by today (Friday) at 6 p.m. at the Captain’s meeting at Pincher’s Crab Shack at Tarpon Point Marina Cape Coral.

The cost is $300 per boat, which includes up to four anglers. There will be an Honor start, which means anglers don’t have to report to the marina before going out.

The goal is to raise $100,000.

For more information, contact King at 823-9017. To donate money or a raffle prize, contact Keri Linden at 462-1965.