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‘Flats’ tourney to raise funds for two causes

By TIFFANY REPECKI

August 22, 2013
Lehigh Acres Citizen

The ninth annual The Flats Invitational Redfish Challenge Charity Fishing Event is still registering participants for the adult and children's competitions, as well as a Texas Hold'em poker tournament.

The fund-raiser kicks off Friday with a captain's meeting from 5-11 p.m. at Cape Harbour, with an open bar and dinner for anglers. At 7 p.m., the McFlats Invitational Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament will take place, along with a silent auction and raffle. Buy-in is $100 and covers the bar and dinner.

On Aug. 31, the adult tournament kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at Cape Harbour, with a shotgun start.

At 10 a.m., the children's tourney will take place on the dock behind Rumrunners.

The day wraps up with an awards banquet and auction at 5 p.m., with an open bar and dinner.

The proceeds will benefit the Ronald McDonald House and Cape Coral Charter School Foundation.

"The event is not just a fishing tournament," Mitch Williamson, the event chairman, said.

"Over the last nine years, we've been raising over $400,000," he said.

Last year, the fund-raiser brought in $42,000 and included 44 boats and roughly 150 anglers.

"Starting last year, we've been able to share some money with the Cape Coral Charter School Foundation," Williamson said.

The proceeds are split equally between the two organizations.

"It's a true charity fishing tournament that gives back to the community," he said.

A resident of the Cape for nearly 40 years, Williamson explained that his son, Mitch Williamson IV, who is now 9, was born six weeks premature.

"I was able to use the Ronald McDonald House at the time," he said.

Wanting to give back to the organization, Williamson came up with the idea for the fishing tourneys with local entrepreneur Tim Frederic. The poker tournament was later added to the fund-raiser.

"We fished and supported and sponsored other fishing events," Williamson said.

"It's been very successful since," he added of the poker event.

There are unlimited openings for the poker tournament and adult competition and people can register for both events day of. Entry forms and information is also available at: mcflatsinvitational.com/.

Only 120 youth can register for the children's fishing tourney.

"Currently, there are still openings," Williamson said Thursday.

The weigh-in for the adult tournament will open at noon and ends at 4 p.m.

"Two legal-sized redfish. They must be released live," he said.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first place through fifth place, as well as a random place. First place is $7,500, second is $3,500, third is $2,500, fourth is $1,500 and fifth is $500; 13th place will get $500.

The entry fee is $275 per angler. The children's tourney costs $20 per child.

"Everybody who participates is a winner," he said of the youth event.

Each child will get a free rod and reel, T-shirt and lunch with Ronald McDonald, who will make a surprise visit by boat at 11 a.m. The adult anglers will receive a captain's bag filled with goodies.

Participating anglers are covered for the awards banquet.

Guest tickets are available for the captain's meeting and the banquet for $40 per event, or people can purchase a raffle ticket for $100 that covers both events and enters the ticket holder into a drawing for two trikes.

The raffle tickets are limited to 250 people, and the banquet can cater up to 400 attendees.

"We're always looking for new sponsors and auction items," Williamson added.

The deadline is Thursday to become a sponsor or donate an item.

"All the sponsors are local organizations, businesses and people," he said.

For more information or for registration forms, visit online at: mcflatsinvitational.com/.

 
 

 

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