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1450 Merrihue Drive
Naples, FL 34102
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Contact: Barbara J. Wilson, Director of Marketing and Communications, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, 239.403.4216, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile – 239.961.1636
Legendary Angler Roland Martin Signs Up as Spokesperson for the October 5-7, 2007 RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament to Benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Comcast and the Beasley Broadcast Group Commit to Media Sponsorship
March 26th, 2007 (Naples, FL)
Roland Martin, legendary angler and long-time host of the “Fishing with Roland Martin Show,” has agreed to be a spokesperson and participant for the October 5-7, 2007 RedSnook Catch and Release Tournament. As spokesperson, Roland will be actively involved in the planning and implementation of the event, including appearing in television and radio ads, providing interviews, emceeing and participating in the event.
This year the tournament will benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to support their efforts in protecting estuaries, waterways and preserving regional fisheries.
Asked about what influenced his decision to lend his name, reputation, talents and time to the RedSnook event, Roland Martin explains, “As a native of Southwest Florida and a pro-angler for over 40 years, I’ve personally witnessed the decline in our water quality. Without clean and abundant supplies of water, recreational and sports fishing would be a thing of the past. This is a natural fit with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Their work in scientific research, advocacy and protection of our estuaries and waterways are critical programs to support.”
Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida responds, “It is quite an honor to have such an important person in the fishing world endorse this tournament. The tournament has a great heritage of over 14 years in the area and this will really take it to the next level. We are very appreciative for Roland’s support and the hard work of the Co-Chairmen Gil LaCroix and Jim Lozelle in organizing the event.”
“Some consider fishing a sport. But for those who consider fishing a passion, just like Roland Martin, there’s the 2007 RedSnook Charity Catch and Release Fishing Tournament. Everybody
should register early, ” says Tournament Co-Chairman Gil LaCroix. “There’s already been talk of an early sell-out!”
RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament to Benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida --- page two
“Comcast is proud to provide the media support for the tournament,” says Sandi Wilson, Communication Director for Comcast. This is one of the many things we do to give back to the community and we know other sponsors signing up will understand the value of the media support, reaching a dedicated and loyal group of upscale sports fishing aficionados and now association with Roland Martin.”
Jim Lozelle, the other Co-Chairman for RedSnook adds, “Any fishing guide in Southwest Florida will tell you that the RedSnook is the most prestigious fishing tournament in the region. Several of our RedSnook winners have gone on win to the IGFA/ Rolex Inshore Tournament of Champions. The sky’s the limit now with Roland Martin and Comcast on board!”
The Beasley Broadcast Group has generously agreed to support the Tournament with radio spots and interviews on three of their Southwest Florida stations. Jeff Hicox, Regional Marketing Director for the Southwest Florida stations, “Sports Radio 770 ESPN (AM,) 96 K-Rock WRXK (FM,) and 99X WJBX (FM) will be promoting the tournament to our listeners.” Hicox continues, “We are proud to sponsor this event as a public service to our listeners and to the community. The Beasley Broadcast Group is committed to supporting the communities where we do business, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida deserves this support as well since they have done so many things to protect our quality of life in the region.”
Conservancy of Southwest Florida Board Member Andy Hill has been involved with the Tournament for several years. “There is a misconception on the past of many anglers that environmental organizations are at odds with sports fishing. The Conservancy's policies and goals are perfectly in-line with the sport fish community --- preventing habitat destruction, participating in Western Everglades restoration, restoring natural waterflows and taking action on Lake Okeechobee problems, to name a few. In my 8 years of involvement at the Conservancy, restricting access to fishing areas has never been an issue.”
McElwaine ends, “These combined efforts will help us raise the funds necessary to continue our important water and estuaries protection work. We can’t thank everybody enough for coming together to help us continue to protect the unique natural resources, and our quality of life, in Southwest Florida.”
McElwaine continues, “We are especially grateful to Comcast and the Beasley Broadcast group for providing over $40,000 in TV and radio spots. Our sponsors will receive tangible value for their money as well as the satisfaction of knowing they are helping protect our waterways for future generations.”
The Collier County-based fishing tournament draws participants from around the country. The event includes two days of fishing, a silent auction and numerous social events. As always, the Conservancy is looking for energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to work on this event as well as others.
History of The RedSnook Charity Release Fishing Tournament
The RedSnook Charity Catch and Release Fishing Tournament was born out of the need for a new source of fundraising coupled with the desire to bring a first class fishing tournament to Southwest Florida. The event drew from the idea that Collier County needed a unique and exciting philanthropic event drawing heavily from the County's heritage as a fishing resort blessed with an abundance of natural resources. In 1993, tournament founders Dick Botthof and Tim Parry gave life to the idea that the YMCA could raise money with a fishing tournament, and they set out to create a world class event. By any measure, they succeeded in doing just that.
Organizers first canvassed the state of Florida to see how other tournaments operated. They learned that a successful tournament blends together philanthropy and fun. Recognizing the need for local expertise, founders included input from the earliest stages by local guides. The decision was quickly made to feature a two day guided format, and to target the areas most popular game fish, snook and redfish. As a result, the tournament logo was carefully designed to recognize the principal participants--anglers, guides, and fish. The tournament rules were established and the stage was set for a competitive and fun event.
In 2007, the RedSnook was moved to benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and its water research, advocacy and protection programs. The format was changed to allow for both guided and unguided divisions.
We have never lost sight of the philanthropic reason for the RedSnook. Money continues to be raised in three ways. First, anglers pay an entry fee to participate in the event. Second, the RedSnook solicits sponsorship commitments from local business and individuals. Third, items are donated for the silent and live auction. We have been fortunate to have a boat, motor, and trailer to add to the auction, thanks to some of the leading companies in the marine industry.
The RedSnook silent and live auction has grown over the years into a major source of revenue for the tournament. The auction team solicits auction items from around the world. Their effort can be seen in the excitement generated at the auction that is traditionally held on the Friday night before the tournament begins
From a humble beginning in 1993 of 40 anglers, the RedSnook now boasts over 70 anglers and continual improvements in the evening events, awards, and rules have kept the tournament fresh and exciting. Just ask any fishing guide in Collier County, and they will tell you that the RedSnook is the most prestigious fishing tournament in Southwest Florida. Several of our RedSnook winners have gone on win to the IGFA/ Rolex Inshore Tournament of Champions.
The combination of competitive fishing, exciting trophies, and fun events, coupled with the successful fundraising accomplished each year, ensures the RedSnook tournaments' success.
About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida Estuaries and Water Initiatives
Water: too much, too little, too dirty. Any of these damages the quality of life for humans, animals and aquatic species.
Since the Spanish explorers were met by the Calusa Indians, the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades region has been degraded. The recent destruction of wetlands, mismanagement of water resources, and collateral damage associated with a growing community, have damaged the estuaries of Southwest Florida. Snook, Redfish and Tarpon populations, "nursed" within our estuaries, have suffered and their long-term viability is threatened.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has taken a leadership position in the research, advocacy, and protection of our waters and estuaries in the region. Given the importance of the estuaries to sport fishing, it is appropriate the proceeds from the RedSnook Tournament go to the Conservancy waters and estuaries programs.
While anglers focus on the importance of the estuaries for recreational interests, the estuaries are extremely important for economic viability and public health. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports that saltwater fishing in Florida accounts for $5.8 billion in expenditures and supports over 59,000 jobs. Without a sound ecosystem, this great economic vitality will be lost. Conversely, the negative impact of red tide poses health and economic threats. The recent decline of sea turtle nests and the increase in manatee deaths are partially related to the higher incidences of red tide.
In cooperation with other partners, the Conservancy water and estuaries programs have three primary objectives in protection of our natural resources:
Your support of the RedSnook Tournament will benefit our community in many ways. First, the tournament has been in existence for 14 years and is an important legacy to our community. Second, the economic impact of the tournament is significant -- from food catering to servicing the needs of out of town competitors, the purchase of fishing tackle and the hiring of guides. Third, the money raised for the Conservancy will benefit many generations to come. Without healthy estuaries, the quality of life that brought many of us to the community will not be present for our current enjoyment and future generations to come.
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