“In addition to the actual fishing we have an afternoon of fun, food, games and the family interactive art show during registration,” Klettke said. “At the end of the event, we’ll have an awards ceremony and everyone who has caught and released a tarpon will be recognized.” A full day of fun is planned. The activities will start at 11 a.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center. The family interactive art show will take place and will led by local artist Carroll Swayze and friends who’ll help teach children about the personal satisfaction of creating art. There will be complimentary food, drinks and exhibits to view and kids will have the option to make a beautiful piece of art to take home. Tournament registration will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center downtown. Opening ceremonies will be presented by Yellowfin Boats begins with Jim Cooper from Lemon Bay Conservancy delivering a message on conservation at 5:10 p.m., followed by a blessing of the event. Lemon Bay High School ROTC members will present colors honoring the military, and there will be a flyover by the Charlotte County Warbirds vintage aircraft club. Fishing competition will be from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. and awards will be presented at 9 p.m. “We’re going to catch an afternoon hill tide which traditionally is a great time for tarpon fishing,” Melvin said. Organizers are expecting to have 40 teams participate in the event this year. And additional sponsors are always appreciated. The title sponsor of the 2017 event is Columbia Sportswear. Platinum sponsors include: The Gasparilla Inn, Gasparilla Outfitters, Gulf Coast International Properties, Dean Construction, Grande Air, U.S. Health Group, CCM Graphics Solutions and Yellowfin Boats. Organizations that will benefit from funds raised include All Children’s Hospital, MOFFITT Cancer Center, Englewood Community Care Clinic, Lemon Bay Conservancy, Charlotte County Public Schools, THE MISSION To provide a fun and competitive event for youth that encourages goodwill, sportsmanship, conservation and education while recognizing the Boca Grande community and its tarpon fishing history and traditions.
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