Speaking for the Officers and Directors, we are extremely concerned about the funding that the Tournament provided for our Kids Charities that they will no longer receive. We pray that somehow the contributions will continue for them to fill the void that we have left. Historically the tournament distributed the funds every December, we did again this year, made the charities aware of our situation for the coming years. Merry Christmas from all at the OBO.
One of the charities that we supported over the years was Onslow Christmas Cheer. It provided food and toys for the less fortunate on the last Saturday before Christmas, the OBO bought about 1,000 trikes and bikes for this annual event. N. C. Boys and Girls Home, an orphanage, was given a donation annually. We also took the entire orphanage fishing on a head boat 15 to 20 KIDS at a time. The Eckerd Youth Alternative, a 9 month program where KIDS lived outdoors in tents, was also a favorite. In addition to taking them fishing we had Speakers come in like Joan Maxwell, President of Regular Marine in Edenton, N.C. Joan was an instant success starting a relationship with the camp and the children.. At graduation we would give the girls cosmetic items and the boys and some girls, rods and reel donated by Shimano.. When the KIDS learned of what they would receive when they met their goals, the 9 month program developed into some graduating in 7 or 8 months, allowing the EYA to bring in waiting children. We also bought the EYA a house that they used to for the Camp Director and his wife; saving the camp off site apartment rental fees.
There was a summer camp in Atlanta, Ga. that KIDS with incurable diseases would attend. Tim Fernandez, of sponsor Yamaha, introduced me to Camp Sunshine thru his spouse.. Many of these children sent me and Barb letters thanking the OBO for the financial assistance of the facility. Children's Flight of Hope flies KIDS that need immediate special medical attention. Pilots donate their time, the funds we provided paid for the fuel and rentals. We had our Program Book printed in black/white to save money to give to our charities. Shop With A Cop takes poor kids shopping for clothing just before Christmas, no latest design stuff, just basics usually at Wal-mart. The Cops also assisted the tournament by working the docks. Now you know why the were carrying. A "down east" family got burned out, SWAC called to get permission to buy clothes for this family. When Hurricane Frances devastated our coastal areas, especially "down east". The tournament requested fishers to bring canned goods to the Captains Meeting, they responded with 5 pick up truck loads.
Some of the other charities: Toys for Tots, N.C. Special Olympics, Crystal Coast Boys and Girls Club, Onslow County Women"s Center and Guardian Ad Litem, Carteret County Domestic Violence Program and Ad Litem, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
In the past 14 years, our volunteer organization raised $253, 640. Our first year we raised only $6831 for the Take A Kid Fishing Program, 21 boats. To reach our goal we averaged $18,117 per year with the best year, 2007, $27,440.
How was the money raised? We had one of the best payouts in the SKA, we paid 85% to 90% back to the fishers. The majority of the funds came from our Program Book; sold ads to local and national vendors that would bring in $10,000 to $12,000 annually. Marine Industry sponsors donated their products that were sold on an on-line auction, or at the auction at the Awards. The smaller items were bagged, a price was set usually $15 to $25 for the 100 or more bags which contained items ranging from $100 to $200. It was a mad scramble with some buying 3 or 4 bags, what a bargain. We had one of the best attended Awards on the circuit.
The Reel Outdoors of Emerald Isle, NC sponsored our tournament every year and lauds the OBO for their expansion to a new and larger facility several years ago, thank you Greg & Mindy. Bone Suckin" Sauce has been with us for the past 6 years, thanks to the Fords, especially KMT Team Reel Thrill, Vaughn Ford and family.
Other notable sponsors and supporters were: Calusa Nets, E Sea Rider bean bats, Keep Alive, Deka batteries, Shimano, Pro Finder charts, Navionics, Rugged Shark, Yozuri, Terrafin, Sea Shock, Rule pumps, Smart Shield, Voodoo lures/mendaden milk, Cape Lookout Lures, Tow Boat US, Swansboro, American Fishing Wire, Hi Seas Line, Gamakatsu hooks, Spro swivels, Andy's Cheese Steaks, Bluewater Candy Lures/Jody Gay, Black's Marine Supply, Bennett Trim Tabs, Yamaha America of Kennesaw, Ga. and Regulator Marine of Edenton, N. C., Onslow Bay Boatworks of Hampstead, NC, Jim Woolard of Island Harbor Marina, first 2 years marina, 3rd year and annually for 12 years we were welcomed at Susan and W. T. Caspers of Casper's Drystack Marina in Swansboro, N. C., Barry Matthews, formers SKA National Champ, of Swansboro Century 21 Real Estate-Swansboro, who paid for the Rotary Center rental for several years, for us to have our 1st indoor facility for our activities.
Thank you to all the volunteers for their dedication and devotion to our KIDS charities, the merchants that supported our Program Book, and especially to all of you, the fishermen, that made the OBO one of your favorites on the tournament trail.
Tried to remember anyone and everyone that had an effect on the OBO, forgive me if I missed you.
We sincerely hope that you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed Happy New Year.
Capt. Stanman and Barb.
66 boats, Ocean Isle Fishing Center won $15507
2nd place, 58 boats, Just in Time, $4728