Pictured above: Winners from the 1st Annual Take A Vet Fishing Tournament
Hampton Watercraft & Marine hosted their first annual ‘Take a Vet Fishing’ Tournament on September 16th, 2017. Invitations went out to members of the Airborne Tri Team which is an organization that provides recreational therapy for war veterans and to the Hampton Bays American Legion Post 924. All members of both organizations were invited which resulted in 31 anglers ranging from World War II to active military.
In August Hampton Watercraft & Marine reached out to its customers asking them to be a Captain and volunteer their time, boats, equipment to spend a day fishing on the water with our well deserving Veterans. 11 Captains immediately volunteered with boats ranging in size from 16 – 37 feet.
The day began at 7:30am with registration and breakfast. Breakfast was donated by Denise Sullivan a local Hampton Bays resident who is very active with the Airborne Tri Team. The Color Guard was made up of members of the Hampton Bays American Legion Post 924 who presented the colors just after breakfast and before all of the boats headed out on the water.
The BBQ lunch and awards ceremony was hosted by Hampton Watercraft & Marine for all those involved in the tournament and their families. During the fishing tournament the anglers fished for 7 different species of fish, the heaviest fish in each category caught was awarded a prize. Winning those categories were the following: Chris Ramos with an 8.4lb fluke, Pasquel Marra with a 2.8lb black sea bass, Logan Bowe boat with a 2.6lb sea robin & a tie for Porgy at 1.4lb went to Douglas Weinert and Erick Baustista.
Congratulations went out to all of the participants from Tony Villareale President and Founder of Hampton Watercraft & Marine he also stated “that this great day was not about the fishing, it was clearly about giving a little something back to those who fought for the freedoms we all enjoy today.”
The 1st annual Take a Vet Fishing Tournament was well enjoyed by all and would not have been possible without the help of the following people; Boston Whaler for their financial support, Megan Buckley of Hampton Watercraft & Marine Marketing and Event Coordinator who headed up the event, the 11 Captains; Matt Romano, Gerard Buckley, Larry Luce, Pat McCarthy, Bob Thomas, Jay Barnes, Scott Jones, Mike Aguilar, Ned Kaplan, Kevin Wetherall & Shawn Leonard, members of the Hampton Bays Lions Club including Michael Greason, Russel Rose who helped with breakfast and lunch, members of the Hampton Bays Leos Club and the Hampton Bays Middle School Student Council who helped with set up and parking, Parker & Paul Hodges of the Canal Café who donated food and Denise Sullivan from the Airborne Tri Team, the staff of Hampton Watercraft & Marine, Dan Chekijian of Twin Fork Beer Co., Guy & Liz Constantopoulos of 711 who sponsored the coffee and Scott at East End Bait & Tackle.