Dina El-Gendy, the office manager for Florida Lung & Sleep Associates at 2625 Lee Blvd., a family specialty medical practice, said today that the fishing tournament held at Mirror Lakes on June 29 was "a tremendous success."
It was the third year that Florida Lung & Sleep Associates had sponsored the event that attracts youngsters and their parents to Mirror Lakes to fish and win prizes. It even drew an older man who was fishing and went to sleep," El-Gendy laughed.
"We call it the Kids Fishing Tournament and this year we had some 50 people, including children and adults who attended. Everyone had such a great time that we have decided to hold the third annual Kids Fishing Tournament during the early summer of 2014.
The largest fish runner-up prize went to Maya Valdez.
There was a $25 donation to participate and the proceeds went to what El-Gendy said was a worthy cause, the Chest Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to early lunch cancer detection. The institute is investigating in research and education to find the latest technologies available to detect lung cancer as early as possible.
"We gave the kids plastic bag filled with all types of gifts such as T-shirts, plastic drinking cups, Frisbees, pencils, highlighters and coloring books and other things," El-Gendy said. She planned the event and said while the family medical practice may be the major sponsors, some 22 other business co-sponsors in Lehigh participated.
"We were glad to see the business community step up and be a part of our fishing tournament," El-Gendy said.
Lung disease is important to Dina El-Gendy because her mother died with lung cancer. While many people succumb to the disease from smoking, her mother was not a smoker and did not work in a place where smoke was in the air.
The fishing tournament was held at Mirror Lakes and there were volunteers on hand to help out and make sure that the kids were safe. Kids used live bait and others used hooks. El-Gendy said the kids were all provided fishing poles and told to keep them after the event.
One of the sponsors, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. said their group was especially proud to be among the sponsors of local business firms.
"The firm supports a number of local charitable organizations," said J. Jeffrey Rice, managing partner for the firm. "By doing our part, we are ensuring that those less fortunate find medical assistance and receive early cancer detection, leading to longer and healthier lives."
El-Gendy said "Bopp" the dog was on hand and taught the kids about water safety. Someone from Fish and Wildlife was also on hand to talk about animal life.
"The youngest fisherman was a one-year-old kid," El-Gendy said. "He was having a great time. His father was with him. In fact, all the kids had to have an adult with them when they fishes, just for safety reasons."
She said the largest fish was a 19-inch catfish which was caught and released, as all the fish were. The big catfish was nabbed by Mason Rosado.
"We and the sponsors provided lunch for the kids who went fast for the hotdogs and hamburgers," she said.
Winners received gift certificates, presented to them by another member of the El-Gendy family, Lehigh's Honorary Mayor Ahmed El-Gendy. Winning kids also received a big gift basket filled with fun summer items such as beach toys, a soccer bar and other things.
"Everyone was having a great time and the weather could not have been better since we have been having so many rain days," El-Gendy said.
Her father, Dr. Alaa El-Gendy, has been practicing medicine since 2002 in Lehigh Acres and is regarded as one of the best sleep specialist in Southwest Florida.
His daughter said the family decided to hold something like this because there are not a lot of summer activities for Lehigh children.
The winners were listed by Dina El-Gendy as:
Largest fish, a 19-inch catfish, Mason Rosado; the most fish caught, William Roque; the smallest fish caught, Camden Rice with a three-inch fish, the ugliest fish was won by Jarod Rice; the largest fish runners-up were Anthony Valdez, and Maya Valdez.
Some of the fisherman won free family sessions by Lady In Pink Photography in Lehigh.
What did the kids use as live bait? "Night crawlers while others used regular hooks and sinkers," El-Gendy said.
"We really appreciated the Mirror lakes Golf Club for allowing us to hold the fishing tourney," she said.
A lot of photographs were taken by another member of the family, Amany El-Gendy and they can be seen online by calling up: www.facebook,.com/FloridaLung. You can click on like when you are online, El-Gendy said.