Islamorada fishing trip to marks Group’s 9000th wish

The 9,000th wish from South Florida’s chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation will be fulfilled in Islamorada next week.

Michael LaMore, 12, of Fort Pierce has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, a congenital condition resulting from one or more holes in the walls separating the left and right ventricles.

Michael could not be reached for comment but Kim Tabor, a coordinator at the South Florida Make-a-Wish Foundation, said the boy is fascinated by all things ocean but has never fished in the sea before. That will change starting Tuesday. He will be joined by his mother, grandmother and a cousin.

The family will be fishing on the Bad Habit charter boat, which recently moved about a mile south from the Smuggler’s Cove marina to the Post Card Inn at Holiday Isle at mile marker 84 oceanside. The boat, captained by Scott Keller with mate Eric Scoble, will take the family out for two days of fishing and one day of snorkeling on the reef.

Besides fishing in lakes by his house, Michael has typical hobbies for a boy his age, including playing video games and riding his bike, Tabor said.

The fishing trip is the third in a new partnership between Make a Wish and the Jose Wejebe Foundation, the nonprofit started last year by Krissy Wejebe, daughter of Keys fishing legend and host of the popular Spanish Fly fishing show, Jose Wejebe. The elder Wejebe, 58, died in April 2012 when the small plane he was piloting crashed in Everglades City.

Krissy Wejebe, 29, said her foundation will coordinate Make-a-Wish Foundation trips for sick children whose hope it is to fish in South Florida.

“Being out on the water makes you appreciate the smaller things in life,” Wejebe said.

Islamorada residents and businesses came together to make the trip happen, she said. The family will stay at an undisclosed mansion donated by a local family. Their meals will be provided by the City Hall Cafe at mile marker 88.5.

Both Keller and Scoble are donating their time, and the Bad Habit’s owner, Duane Dozer of Vero Beach, is donating the entire cost of the fishing and snorkeling trips.

Keller agreed to the trip after his friend Ken Davis, a retired special agent with both the U.S. Coast Guard investigative division and the Drug Enforcement Administration, told him about his involvement with the Jose Wejebe Foundation. Davis and Wejebe were close friends.

“I didn’t know Jose, but I was a big fan and have a lot of respect for what he did for fishing and the Keys,” Keller said. “When Ken asked me to do it, I said, ‘Absolutely. Count me in.’ “

Davis is a board member for the Wejebe foundation, which also includes Bill Spottswood, Michael Torbisco, Fred Troxel, Dave Pfeiffer and Mike McKinnis.

Make-a-Wish’s South Florida Chapter is in its 30th year, and Michael LaMore’s wish will mark 9,000 dreams come true for sick children in the area. The chapter fulfilled a record 546 wishes last year.

For more information about the foundation, go to www.josewejebefoundation.org. For more information on the Make-a-Wish Foundation, go to www.wish.org. To donate to the Jose Wejebe Foundation, write to P.O. Box 420681, Summerland Key, FL 33042.

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