Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida is hosting its second annual offshore fishing tournament to raise money for helping local families.
The Second Annual Offshore Rodeo & Reggae Party will be June 6-7 at Port Sanibel Marina and the Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant. Anglers will launch from Port Sanibel Marina on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to hook the top prize and have their catch served up for dinner by the Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant.
"It's unique to our area because it's offshore," said Event Coordinator Angela Katz, explaining that anglers will be traveling miles into the Gulf of Mexico. "You see a lot of backwater tournaments and you don't see a lot offshore."
Volunteer Zac McBane shows off his catch at the inaugural Offshore Rodeo & Reggae Party. PHOTO PROVIDED.
Competitors, ranging from recreational to professional, will get to catch 10 different deep-water species and weigh four of the fish to receive a total combined weight.
Registration is $250 per angler which includes a guest to attend the dinner festivities.
Katz said organizers added a Kids Fishing Tournament on June 7 so children 12 and under could join in the fun. The kids event, open to the first 50 kids who pre-register for $20, starts at 10 a.m. at Port Sanibel Marina with educational stations for aspiring anglers to learn all of the techniques. A lunch and magic show with Ronald McDonald will follow the kid's tournament at 11:30 a.m.
What: Second Annual Offshore Rodeo & Reggae Party
Where: Port Sanibel Marina and the Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant, 14341 Port Comfort Road
When: June 6-7; Offshore fishing tournament at 6 a.m. and kid's tournament at 10 a.m.
Both fishing tournaments will be happening simultaneously.
"They are happening at the same time so the little kids get to fish right there at the event location while the big kids are out on the deep waters," said Katz, who added that it's a chance for children not only to have fun but to learn.
Participants in the tournament will also enjoy silent and live auctions, live music, and an award ceremony. Fucillo KIA of Cape Coral donated a 2014 Kia Soul to serve as the grand prize for a $100 per ticket drawing.
Katz said that all of the money raised from the event, auction, and drawing stays locally in Southwest Florida.
"All of the proceeds benefit our local Ronald McDonald House Charities. It supports all of our programs," she said.
The organization has served more than 3,000 families in the region since 1996, with the Ronald McDonald House at HealthPark Medical Center, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile for underprivileged children, and numerous grants and scholarships released to the community.
When the new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida opens in 2017, it will include a brand new Ronald McDonald Family Room which will extend its services to local families with children being treated at the facility.
Interested anglers should register soon because spaces are filling up fast. For more information on the event or to register, visit www.rmhcswfl.org.