Fishing tournament raises money for charity

It wasn’t a lazy “gone fishing” kind of summer day when the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame held its third annual Celebrity Dolphin Tournament at The Post Card Inn in Islamorada. There were 92 boats in the competition to raise funds for good causes, and the winning dolphin, caught by Mike Vera, weighed in at 43.6 pounds.

Ray Lewis, legendary Hurricane and retired star linebacker of the Baltimore Ravens, hosted the successful fishing event. And at a recent reception, tournament organizers were able to present checks of $4,000 each to The Miami Project and to Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys.

Funds also went to help the university’s Sports Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization with the mission “to honor the finest Hurricanes student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have excelled in their sport and brought acclaim to the University through their championships and accomplishments.”

The whopping turnout made the dolphin-fishing event the largest tournament in the Florida Keys, said John Routh, the Hall of Fame’s executive director. He said more than 75 Canes legends attended and enjoyed the festivities, which included the band Live Bait, musician Kevin Hurley, fire dancers and a junkanoo band.

The Bucket of Bucks pool was claimed by the boat Gotta Love It with a combined three dolphin total haul of 84.2 pounds. Top Female Angler was Tracy Kerdyk with a dolphin weighing 29.3 pounds and the Top Junior Angler was Tommy Smith with a 19.4 pound catch. Keith Provin was named the King of Fishes with a 51.4 pound wahoo.

The Sports Hall of Fame is open free to the public weekdays from noon to 5pm. Check out www.umsportshalloffame.com for more details. It’s located on UM’s Coral Gables campus at 5821 San Amaro Dr.

BABA’S BUNCH FOUNDATION

Alzheimer’s patients and their families can now look to the new Baba’s Bunch Foundation for help and information. Tony Friguls, whose wife Maria was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 55 eight years ago, recently established the fundraising group and wants to spread the word.

The mission of the new foundation is to raise awareness about different Alzheimer’s related issues; sponsor fundraising drives; source support for caregivers; distribute goods such as diapers, wipes, vitamins and more to suffering families in need; and sponsor grants to help in the daycare for individuals lacking support.

The walking team of Baba’s Bunch has already been a very successful fundraising group. At the 2008 Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s in Miami-Dade County more than 450 friends and family supported the team. It continued to grow and be the largest team at the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s events.

The name “Baba” is often given to a beloved grandparent and it is what the Friguls grandchildren call their grandmother.

“It is impossible for anyone to fully understand the human suffering experienced by a caregiver unless you have been there in the trenches caring for someone you love with Alzheimer’s,” Friguls said.

“There are over 80,000 Babas in our community suffering with Alzheimer’s, and if we consider that each Baba could probably have four to five relatives or friends, this means that there could be as many as 400,000 people affected from Alzheimer’s in our neighborhoods,” he said.

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