This Saturday, April 22, the American Military Veterans Foundation (formerly Wounded Warrior Anglers) will kick off its 2017 Jubilee In The Park and 5th Annual Redfish Shootout to support foundation veterans of all ages throughout the Southwest Florida area.
The fishing tournament honors Terrell (Terry) W. Brooks Sr., an active foundation member who passed away in 2016.
The event will be held at Matlacha Community Park, beginning with a shotgun start for dozens of tournament boats at 7:30 a.m. from the launch area. While most participants are from our area, entrants have traveled from as far as Orlando and Miami for the Shootout. The tournament weigh-in takes place between 1-3 p.m.
Costa Mechanical Air Conditioning is this year's main sponsor of the event.
Festivities continue throughout the day as the 2017 Jubilee In The Park's inaugural offers food, fishing and fun - mixed with some music and drinks.
"Expanding the fishing tournament to a community event will help get our message out to a broader audience. We want to build awareness and support for the needs of the thousands of veterans in our area, and eventually across the country," said Capt. Dave Souders, national commander for the foundation. "Our entire staff is made up of volunteers and veterans who understand there are men and women who proudly served our country that can use our help now and in the future."
A Free Kid's Fishing Derby (ages 4-12) runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the Matlacha Community Park Fishing Pier. The 120 kids registered for the derby will receive free rods, reels and bait to help them catch the big one and win great prizes. Other games and crafts will be available throughout the day.
Additionally, at noon, the Craft Beer Tasting and Classic Car Show begins, featuring specialty beers from about a dozen Florida breweries and autos from years past. An afternoon of music also kicks in with tunes from the band 24 Carat - followed by Al Williams, Barbara Rea and Just Us Marshalls. And of course, great food from Little Joe's will be available throughout the afternoon.
Proceeds from the 2017 Jubilee In The Park and 5th Annual Redfish Shootout charity tournament will benefit American Military Veteran Foundation Inc. programs and services funds that support veterans of all ages.
The American Military Veterans Foundation (www.ammilvets.org) was originally founded in 2010 as the Wounded Warrior Anglers of America. The organization is a legally registered 501(c)(3) public charity that directs more than 90 cents of every dollar from donations to support veterans, helping them enjoy an active lifestyle with a variety of programs, including using the comradery and fun enjoyed through fishing. The high percentage for funding programs is achieved because all board members, executives and staff are volunteers - no one receives a salary or any kind of financial payment or incentive.
Since its establishment, the organization expanded its support to meet the growing needs of veterans including emergency relief, financial assistance, family retreats and other services.
"We passionately design and provide diverse programs and services with the help of like-minded partners and supporters who believe as we do in 'changing lives, one warrior at a time,'" according to the organization.