The Wounded Warrior Anglers held its second annual Redfish Poker Tournament Saturday, May 24, at Olde Fish House Marina, where a NatticStar 2110 Sport Bay boat was raffled off.
The boat, valued at nearly $40,000, sat about 50 feet from the stage as more than 300 people milled around waiting for the drawing.
"We sold out the tickets for the boat," Judy Souders, Wounded Warrior Angler's co-founder said. "And the turnout is just great."
As the clock neared 7 p.m., a sizable crowd surrounded the boat.
"We selected the son of one of our veterans for the drawing," Souders said. "His name is Mathew Connor and he drew the winning ticket that belonged to a gentleman by the name of Bill Swartzwelder of Cape Coral."
"I was going to buy a fishing boat anyway and then when I won this boat it killed two birds with one stone," Swartswelder said. "This is such a worthy cause. The Wounded Warrior Angler's do such a fabulous job."
Swartzwelder actually purchased two $100 bundles of tickets. Then just a few days before the drawing stopped by Fort Myers Marine. The owner, Chuck Calkins, asked if he wanted to buy a ticket.
Swartzwelder said to himself, "Jeez... I already purchased $200 worth of tickets and decided to buy just one and that turned out to be the winning ticket."
The boat was courtesy of Fort Myers Marine owner Chuck Calkins.
The NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay boat has a magic tilt trailer and added features such as stainless steel props, 77 bow seat base, swim platform with a ladder, single battery switch and two gunnel rod holders. The boat, motor and trailer package is valued at approximately $39,627.
"I plan on providing keys to David and Judy so they can use the boat to take our veterans out fishing any time they need it," Swartzwelder said. "And I'm having a canvas cover made for the boat as a donation."