■ STAFF REPORT
The Gasparilla Island Kids Classic roster is filling up fast, with 30 boats signed up so far to fish the world’s great kids’ fishing tournament. There is still time to get your team in, if you have a captain and a boat lined up. The tournament will be held on Saturday, June 4 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Boca Grande Pass.
Prior to fishing, though, the day is jam-packed with activities for everyone in the fishing family to enjoy. Melvin said 100 percent of tournament entry fees ($1,000 each) go to children’s charities.
In five years the event has raised more than $150,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center, Johns Hopkin’s All Children’s Hospital, The Englewood Community Care Clinic, Lemon Bay Conservancy, The Charlotte County School System and The Island School. Parking will be free on Saturday at Gasparilla Island State Park, where from noon to 5 p.m., Carroll Swayze will host a family interactive art show (see story on left side of front page). Complimentary hot dogs and drinks will be served throughout the afternoon as well.
KIX Country Radio 92.9 fm will have a remote team present from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., when tournament fishing begins. Also, at 5:25 p.m. a drawing will be held to award one beach spectator an Apple iPad Air, and for another lucky winner to get a pair of “Beats by Dr. Dre” headphones. Between noon and 2 p.m. all anglers must register. Captains, anglers and observers should all check in with Melina. Boats will be in the Pass by 5 p.m., and at 5:10 p.m. Jim Cooper of the Lemon Bay Conservancy will give a conservation message.
At 5:12 p.m. Mark Spurgeon will have a blessing of the event, and at 5:15 p.m. the Lemon Bay High School ROTC will present the Colors, honoring those who have served in our country’s military. The National Anthem will also be sung by Francesca Gallucci.
At 5:20 p.m. the Charlotte County Warbirds will perform a flyover, and at 5:30 p.m. the tournament will begin. Fishing will end at 8:30 p.m.
At 9 p.m. awards will be presented under a tent on the grounds of the Boca Grande Community Center.
See next week’s Boca Beacon for more details. To sign up, call Gasparilla Outfitters at 964-0907.