BY LIZA STROUT - The Gasparilla Island Kids Classic will be held on May 25, during Boca Grande's Tarpon Festival Weekend. With the new year comes a new sponsor, and now the tournament has been rechristened the “Gasparilla Island Kids Classic presented by Yellowfin Yachts.”
Organizer Sandy Melvin made the announcement at a meeting on Thursday afternoon. He also announced that this year's tournament will be filmed, to become a one-hour special. The special, produced by Wing Media out of Little Rock, Ark., will air on the World Fishing Network on Thanksgiving Day. The special will be hosted by Carlton Wing and current Bassmaster Angler of the Year, Brent Chapman.
Brent’s son, Mason, will be fishing with a team on Native with Capt. Frank Davis.
The tournament will also be aired live on 107.5 FM, WENG, hosted by Boca Grande’s own Lew Hastings and Dave Arner.
One hundred percent of all entry fees will be donated to charity. This year, there are two designated charities. The first is the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Families First program, which helps families with children cope as a family when a parent is diagnosed with cancer. The second is the Music Therapy program at All Children’s Hospital. An individual or group session with a board-certified music therapist can be requested to help children and families cope with the stress of a child’s hospitalization.
The field will be limited to 30 teams of four children each. The team members must be 15 and under on the day of the tournament.
The entry fee is $1,000 per team. Priority registration is now open for captains and team leaders who participated in last year’s tournament. After March 1, registration will be open to everyone.
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