KAYAK FOR “COOP”
On April 12, 2014, Paddle-Fishing.com held a kayak fishing tournament to benefit Cooper Vollmer. “Coop” is a 2 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and has begun the journey through 70 weeks of chemotherapy. All proceeds from the tournament will go to help Cooper and the Vollmer family.
To learn about Cooper and read some updates on how he’s doing through this ordeal
Through the large hearts and generosity of the anglers, friends and sponsors, we raised $5,700 through a combination of tournament entry fees, prize raffle tickets and kayak raffle tickets.
The kayak fishing tournament was held in Sarasota with the morning chekc in at ken Thompson Park. Between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. 49 anglers showed up to sing in and get their goody bag with lures from Riptide and Logic Lures. Masthead Marine also provided a coozie for each angler and Hoo Rag provided a buff for each angler.
There was a pretty good breeze out of the east which had most anglers rethinking their launch spots. Quite a few stuck with their original plans and headed to Buttonwood Harbor while others went to launches over on the east side of the bay. Trout were caught in abundance by almost everyone with a few redfish, snook, spanish mackeral and pompano making it to the tally sheets.
Everyone started making their way to O’Leary’s on the Sarasota waterfront between noon and 2 p.m. We had the 49 anglers and dozens more friends who showed up to support kayak for Coop. We made it a full house and O’Leary’s did a good job of taking care of us on an already busy in-season day.
The cut off time was 2 p.m. and winner were announced shortly after that. The trophies were custom made for this event by Walt Ruda of Metalfab. Walt stepped up at the last minute and designed, cut and engraved a substantial piece of stainless steel for each trophy.
1st Place – Phinla Sinphay with 68 inches
2nd Place – Travis Robbins with 56.5 inches
3rd Place – Robert Brown with 52.5 inches
After the winners were announced, we then held the drawing for the kayak raffle. We were fortunate to have Cooper pull the winning tickets!
The second kayak raffled off was a Slayer 12 donated by Native Watercraft and West Wall Boats. Laura Cooper had the winning ticket and that kayak went out fishing the next day. Here’s Laura with her husband and son.
Next up was the prize raffle. We have an abundance of tremendous sponsors who donated lots of fine products. Here’s a listing and I hope you will all take the time to click through the links and visit their sites. Great products and the people behind them really stepped up to help Kayak for Coop raise a lot of money.
42 Tackle Company
Carolina Custom Rods
Breathes Like A Fish
Masthead Sailing Gear
Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art
Canoe Country Outfitters
Nuts Hookers jigs
Bull Bay Rods
Hooks by Ty
Here are pictures of many of the prize raffle winners
After the prize raffle we ended the event with an auction. There had been bid sheets by the items for most of the afternoon but it was easily decided that all of them should go for much more than the bids already made. After a round of auctioneering for each item, they all went for a higher price which helped to grow the final donation amount for Cooper.
Tracey got a wonderful kayak pencil drawing from Steve Whitlock game Fish Art
John Chapman got a chart art print from Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art
Mike Betz bid and won a custom fishing rod from Carolina Custom Rods
Finally, this guy (someone help me with a name please!) placed the winning bid on a half day charter with Mark Nichols of DOA Lures.
They afternoon was full of laughs and smiles, fish stories and good camaraderie as everyone came together to help Cooper. When everything was finished and we tallied up the money, we handed the Vollmer’s $5,700. After some big hugs and a few leaky eyes, we wrapped things up.
Cooper! We’re rooting for you! Faith matters!
All photos courtesy of Bill “Heywood” Howard.