Redbone “seniors” tournament for CF and MARC charities set for Jan. 20 – 21
The good news, if you’re over 50-years-old, you’re eligible to fish and compete for trophies and prizes in the 25th Over-the-Hill. The bad news of course, is you’re over 50.
So it goes with the fun and frivolity surrounding the popular one-day sailfish competition set for senior anglers Jan. 20 -21. It benefits two very worthy causes; MARC the Monroe Association of ReMARCable Citizens of the Keys’ homes in Tavernier and Key West and the Redbone Celebrity Tournaments for cystic fibrosis cure research.
Officially named the Capt. Al Flutie Over-the-Hill Rip-Off Sailfish Tournament, the event started with the late trio of Flutie, Dick Sheppard and Socko Gorenflo along with famed Keys restaurateur Rip Tosun, a cast of four colorful Keys characters always helping residents in need.
“Flutie and his cohorts loved throwing parties,” said tournament volunteer and popular radio show host Capt. Bill Kelly. ”They just needed a reason by helping a good community cause. It’s an event that gives a genuine reflection of the character of Keys’ people, always helping those in need in our island chain while bringing the locals together.”
Tosun, who is retired and lives in Vero Beach, will be celebrating the Keys’ milestone. He recalled, “When Al started this he said it would be nice to have a little fishing tournament, something to carry on our names and legend after we’re gone. I had a boat so that’s how it started with just the four of us on nickels and dimes,” he laughed. “Our first charity was the kids in the community, the young out-of-work waitresses and bar tenders helping to pay their rent or groceries. As the charity event grew we later partnered with Gary and Susan Ellis of the Redbone and also MARC.”
The historic seniors’ catch-and-release competition kicks off Monday afternoon, Jan. 20, at Gary Dunn’s Ocean View Inn (MM 84.5 bayside), with fishing, great stories, live and silent auctions, dinner and awards on Jan. 21.
“The entry fee is affordable, the food is top-notch, there’s outstanding trophies and more,” added Kelly. “We throw in lots of fun and camaraderie and hope the fishing is up to par. Even if the fishing is slow we have all the ingredients for a highly successful event.”
Anyone can participate but only those 50 years and older are eligible for trophies and prizes.
Over $420,000 raised for local and national charities with zero administrative costs
“Tournament originators are extremely proud of their event’s history of profits for charities,” said tournament director Corinne Triviski. “With zero administrative dollars paid out of the profits more than $420,000 has been donated to numerous charities. Other than covering operating costs it’s an all volunteer effort and there’s no administrative fees taken from the event’s proceeds.”
“It’s heart-warming knowing we’re helping to make a difference,” said Ellis. “The life span for those afflicted with CF has tripled and grows every day. Medical research is close to finding a cure for this disease. That’s part of our mission plus helping to preserve the valuable work of MARC of the Keys is fundamental to our community’s character. Keys’ residents have always stepped up to the plate when locals need help and support. That’s what it’s all about.”
“We’ll be glad to see Rip here, but it’s too bad Al, Dick and Socko are no longer with us to appreciate all of the goodness they helped generate for Keys’ infrastructure and causes. Somehow I feel they know it and continue to shower their blessings on all of us,” said Ellis.
Logo courtesy Johnson Communications