Thank you for another successful World’s Richest!

June 12, 2015
By Boca Beacon

fishingTo the Editor:
In the course of events, both public and private, no one person or entity can possibly take sole credit for the success or failure of any undertaking.
The event is the sum of so many moving parts, and those parts require much in the way of planning and coordination.
So it is with the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament & Festival every spring here in Boca Grande.
Now that we can put the 33rd annual event in the books, many thanks need to be handed out to every corner of our island and beyond.
First and foremost we have to recognize the real muscle behind the physical presence of the event. Thank you to Joe Weir and his team at Lee County Parks and Recreation for securing the tables and chairs for the festival, and to Chief C. W. Blosser and the Boca Grande Fire Department for moving the pieces into place and then removing them when it was all over.
The same can be said for Richy Edwards of Key Agency who single-handedly brought out and set up our downtown stage, then removed it 48 hours later.
Nelson Italiano, thank you for helping organize the tournament details and being on the street grilling for the Chamber. All of that food was donated by Italiano Insurance for the two days of the Festival.
Carroll Swayze, thank you for organizing the Boca Grande Invitational Art Show and laying out the street map for us. You worked so hard and got so many fantastic artists.
Barnichol Hardware, thanks for helping us with Yeti Cooler prizes and printing. Peace River Distributing and Budweiser, thank you for helping us with the banners and signs. Thank you to the Boca Beacon for our annual magazine design, and for donating the tournament bags. Thank you to CCM Graphics Solutions for printing our book. 3rd Street Café, thank you for donating your time for our sponsors’ reception.
Thanks to the Eagle Grille for helping us with our captain’s meeting, and thanks to our Lee County Sheriff’s Department for keeping an eye on things. Thank you to ROI Media for everything you did to help us. A huge thank you goes to all of our sponsors and volunteers as well.
Of course, thank you to Marcy Shortuse, Candy Brooks, Nat Italiano, Sandy Melvin and Brian Corcoran who all donated time to make sure the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce could produce another quality community event.
We especially want to thank our captains (and their families), our teams and the community. You guys never fail to provide excitement, and we salute you. Tarpon season is so important to our community, and our fishing tradition is no more apparent then during this particular weekend. We look forward and begin planning for next year’s event.

Cappy Joiner and Capt. Steve Ahlers, the winner of the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament for 2015. Photo by Michael Vasher

If you would like to be a sponsor, volunteer, observer or would like to sit on one of our volunteer committees for next year’s festivities, please contact Lew Hastings at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce at 964-0568.
Fish on!
Lew Hastings
Executive Director of the Boca Grande Area
Chamber of Commerce
Editor’s note: Thank YOU, Lew, for doing everything … all of the time. It was a great tournament.