Fish on! 2

Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament Supports Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWFL

Want to reel in some fish and prizes, but also give back to the community? Join your fellow boaters at the 5th Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament!

If you’re looking for a way to support a local charity and get your fish on, then The 5th Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament might be for you. The tournament will be June 9-10 at Salty Sam’s Marina/Bootlegger’s Waterfront Grill, benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWFL (RMHC).

The idea for the event started in 2012 when Jeff Miloff, chairman of the event, was president of RMHC.  The charity was planning to include a Ronald McDonald Family Room as part of the new Golisano Children’s Hospital.   “As an organization, we were pledging to donate towards this project, so I thought it would make sense to come up with an event where we could raise money,” says Miloff.

The event has taken off and almost doubled in participating anglers. Miloff says 15 boats were included in the tournament’s first year, but in recent years that number has been closer to 40 boats. They have raised nearly $300,000 over the course of the tournament, and Miloff expects the fundraising to continue.

The event kicks off with a Captain’s’ dinner Friday, June 9 at Bootleggers Waterfront Grill, where they will discuss rules and regulations of the tournament. Boats head out at 6 am with breakfast donated by McDonalds in tow.

There is also a fishing tournament for the kids.  The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with various stations where young anglers will spend time learning, hooking, and catching fish. Lunch and a magic show with Ronald McDonald begins at 11:30 a.m. There will also be educational, interactive displays provided by Lee County Sheriff’s Dept., the Coast Guard, Iona McGregor Fire Dept., and more. It is open to the first 100 kids, 12 and under.  Registration is $25 per child and includes tournament entry, t-shirt, a complimentary fishing rod, trophy, lunch with Ronald McDonald and a Stow Away pass on the Pieces of Eight Pirate Cruise.

Anglers will return and begin weighing-in their catch from 4-6 pm. The fresh caught fish will be filleted and served for dinner, while enjoying live music and a silent auction.

“We love our community, and this is a great event to be a part of,” says Miloff. “People who understand what our area is about will understand why we want to support it. This is a way for us to give back.”

For more information or to register, go to rmhcswfl.org.  (Offshore Rodeo.)