To the Editor:
The board of directors of Boca Grande Charities Inc. would like to thank everyone for making the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament a great success.
An event like this would not be possible without the generous financial donations of our partners, and the commitment of time and energy from the many volunteers who make it all happen.
We know it’s impossible to name everyone we'd like to thank, but we’re going to try to name as many as we can. Our apologies in advance if we have missed someone.
First, we’d like to thank, Pat and Lindsey Waterhouse, Tom and Ann Dupree, Mick and Kathy Aslin for their vision and support from day one. Without their early and strong financial backing, we may never have gotten this event off the ground.
We owe a special thank you to Wiley Nagler at Yellowfin Yachts for his support as presenting sponsor for the tournament, and to Bo Hitchcock at Columbia Sportswear for joining us as a platinum level sponsor.
We can’t go any farther without recognizing all the hard work behind the scenes from graphic art designer Daniel Godwin at the Boca Beacon, and Donnie Cayo, along with Sue Snyder, at CCMPhotoBooks.com. They have spent a great amount of time and energy on the spectator guide, banners, posters and photo books. We can’t thank them enough.
Robin Melvin, Melina and John Chaplin, Carrie Jacobs, Tracy Mills, Monica and Randy Clay, Nancy Blank, Olivia Murray, Cathy Klettke, Millie Fuegre, Aimie Lupardus, Chris MacDonald, Colton James, the Grayson Rogers Band have all stepped up and worked above and beyond the call of duty taking care of the books, registration, entertaining or just helping out with the long list of details that seems to grow everyday. You guys are the greatest.
Thanks to Dan Stickley at Englewood Glass & Mirror for donating all the individual trophies for the kids and captains, and especially to Patsy Fyfe at the Seale Family Realty for all the logistical help.
When there is a fight to take on cancer, Emily and Howard Wise are always ready. They’ve helped battle cancer for years by supporting Relay For Life, and it’s good to stand with you here.
Lew Hastings and everyone at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, WENG Radio 107.5, Carlton Wing and the Wing Media Group, Chad Lach at the Gasparilla Island State Park, and Sharon McKenzie at the Boca Grande Lighthouse, The Lemon Bay High School ROTC, The Island School, The Charlotte County Warbirds, The Boca Grande Fire Department, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and The Lemon Bay Conservancy have all joined in and made this a truly community organized event.
Many local business leaders have also helped out. Bob Melvin and Randy Wojcik from Gasparilla Properties, Katrina and Tony Towns from Able’s Marine, Barbara Anne Plante and Manny Sanchez from Barbara Anne’s Jewelry, Salt Tales Jewelry by Angie Mills, Aaron Diaz at Barnichol Hardware, Jim Mackey at Fisherman’s Edge Tackle, Richie Edwards at Key Agency Insurance, the team at the Pink Pony and everyone at Gasparilla Outfitters who helped create the opportunity for the kids and captains win some great prizes.
Nat Italiano at Italiano Insurance was a great help organizing the registration cookout at the community house for the kids, and Gary and Karen Heffner at TeeShirtsOnYou.com were so kind to have donated the tee shirts to help the Kids Classic support Lemon Bay Conservancy’s efforts to protect the nursery of our future tarpon.
Thanks to Ron Walker for providing the VIP boat and financial support. You are the man! And thanks to Professional bass anglers Brent Chapman, Bobby Lane, Aaron Martens and Randy Howell for your work on the T.V. show.
Doug and Gail Davis, Carol Vaughn, Ken Heinmann, Julie Camp, Candy Brooks, Skip Perry, Rich Cacavelle, Cappy Joiner, Jim Cooper, Julie Salvetti, Vah and Lisa Erdekian, Gerry and Sonja Wenger, Dusty and Cheryl Hopkins ... thank you.
We appreciate all the businesses who have sponsored teams and to the official observers too numerous to mention. We would like to single out Dave “Smitty” Smith for continuing to accept the responsibility as Head Judge for the tournament, you’ve always done a great job keeping the competition on track.
Thank you to all the kids and captains who fished the tournament. We hope you had fun and enjoyed a spirited event. Your participation will help a family somewhere.
Finally, we’d like to thank everyone at Moffitt Cancer Institute and at All Children’s Hospital for all your continuing work to help treat those suffering from cancer and helping families dealing with all the issues associated with the illness. You are doing a great job!Capt. Sandy Melvin, Michael Vaughn, Bill KlettkeBoard of DirectorsBoca Grande Charities, Inc.
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