By Cindy Schutt
Approximately 125 Little Brothers, Little Sisters and their Bigs casted out their lures in hopes of reeling in something BIG at the recent Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County’s Annual deep-sea fishing tournament hosted by Bahia Mar Yachting Center.
The tournament attracted 20 boat captains who volunteered their boats, equipment and time to create special memories for participants, who ranged in age from 6 to 17.
“Many of our children and teens have never been fishing or on a boat,” said Ana M. Cedeno, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. “We’re so grateful to be able to offer them this experience, thanks to the many captains who volunteer year after year and our wonderful sponsors.
Sponsors included Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach, Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and Freedom Waters. Captains were Adam Covit – 2 Buckets; Mark Drayton – Blue Jacket; Bruce Schattenburg – Conch Pearl; Iain Lawrie and John Burkard – Cruise Boat; Joe Potter – Don’t Know; Andy Duke – Dukes Duskey; Jubal Inman; Jeff Salter – Lady Helen; John Keenan – Lady Pamela; Larry Kelly – Lightnin’; Josh Coe – Liquid Addiction; Jason Dunbar – Mako Wish; Grey Marker – Markerita (Seevee); Tung Luu – Midnight Express; Andrew Cilla – Nordic Express; Thur-man Mintz – Reel Tight; George Johnson – Second Half; Jason and Joey Coopersmith – Sir Reel; Trevor Carroll and Mike Bebe – Tar Reel and Brian Peterson – The Big Ease.
The volunteer leader of the tournament was John Weller, the boating industry veteran who began the tournament 37 years ago. A five-time cancer survivor, Weller also founded Freedom Waters, a non-profit organization that takes children with cancer out on boats.