Waterfront Classic a Winner


Click HERE to view a photo gallery of the event.

 

June 2014

 

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Sequels aren’t always easy to pull off, but the second annual Seafarers Waterfront Classic delivered.

 

Conducted April 29 at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC), located in Piney Point, Md., the event raised funds for both the Wounded Warrior Anglers of America and the PHC’s waterfront restoration project. Rank-and-file Seafarers and military veterans were among the 97 participants who sailed on 10 sponsored boats. Altogether, they reeled in more than 800 lbs. of fish (38 catches in all) despite less-than-ideal weather.

 

Also taking part in the event were executives from Seafarers-contracted companies, SIU and PHC officials, family members and other guests.

 

The steady rain and winds were incidental, as far as David Souders – president of the Wounded Warrior Anglers – is concerned.

 

“The event was amazing,” he said. “It was extremely well put together and just tremendous. It kind of leaves you speechless. All of our people had a blast, and it didn’t matter that the weather was a little bit on the crummy side.”

 

He added, “All of our warriors were extremely impressed and enjoyed themselves. They got to meet people who cared that they were there, people that cared about their service.” Souders offered special praise to Jake Senatore, son of PHC Admissions Director Priscilla Senatore. Jake not only worked hard assisting others throughout the event, he donated a big portion of his prize (for a 26.75-lb. catch) to the Wounded Warrior Anglers.

 

“That was incredible,” Souders said. “You don’t see that from a young man every day. And he was constantly helping, too. Most kids would have been off to the side.”

 

Mike Botelho of the Wounded Warrior Anglers had the largest catch of the day, a 34.2 lb. rock fish. Event chairman SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker pointed out that, as was the case last year, the boats carried a mix of sponsored operators, wounded warrior anglers and SIU officials.

 

“We found in 2013 that blending the teams really promoted camaraderie while honoring our veterans,” he stated. “The same held true this year.”

 

He continued, “I can’t say I wasn’t at least slightly concerned when the weather forecast looked bad, but the tournament came off without a hitch. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and there’s no doubt the causes are extremely worthwhile. If we can raise money for the Wounded Warrior Anglers and the school, and have a great time doing it, I’d call that a win.”

 

Immediately after the last boat returned and before the awards banquet, participants gathered at the waterfront park for a quick ceremony honoring Keystone Shipping executive (and waterfront project chairman) Philip W.J. Fisher. A plaque bearing his likeness was unveiled on the park’s miniature lighthouse; SIU Secretary- Treasurer David Heindel commended Fisher’s philanthropy and constant support of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

 

Fisher called the honor “a dream come true,” and told the crowd he believes it’s very important “to give back when you can.”

 

He also commended the SIU’s officials for always protecting the interests of the membership.

 

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