Seventy-three boats filled with friendly fishers waded through Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee, Fla., this past April to support UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
The 18th annual Fishing for Kids saltwater trout tournament brought supporters together for a Friday night low country boil to kick off the weekend. Saturday morning featured the annual fishing tournament complete with a fish fry and prizes for tournament winners. While the weather started out less than ideal, nothing stopped this year’s anglers from having fun while raising vital funds for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. In the end, Fishing for Kids raised $28,876.67 – a new fundraising record for the event.
“It’s a way to give back to our patients in need,” said John Willingham, UF Health’s director of maintenance and a long-time Fishing for Kids volunteer. “I’m very proud to be a part of our team. When you see the smiles on the kids’ faces, that’s enough for us.”
Every dollar benefits UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and its most critical program needs, including patient-centered care and innovative pediatric research.
“We know this event has a positive impact on our patients,” Willingham continued. “Because of the doctors and health care staff, we recognize miracles happen here every day.”
1st Place Trout Stringer – 10.84lbs, Andy Phillips & John Hinsen
2nd Place Trout Stringer – 10.55lbs, Robbie Emmons & Bradley Adams
3rd Place Trout Stringer – 10.16lbs, David Hedrick & Bradley Adams
4th Place Trout Stringer – 10.00lbs, Rance & Darrin Cowart
Largest Single Trout – 5.30lbs, Andy Phillips & John Hinsen
Largest Legal Redfish – 6.98lbs, Collin English & Clay Rowe
Most Spots on a Redfish – 8 spots, Mark Brady & Gary Miller Jr.
1st Place Youth – 2.18lbs, Clay
2nd Place Youth – 1.99lbs, Rhett
3rd Place Youth – 1.94lbs, Connor
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the tournament and fish fry! We appreciate your support toward life-saving medical equipment, research and other services for our pediatric patients.