Gone fishing: Local mental health task force holds fishing tournament

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Many people took their bait and tackle to the Island for a day of fishing to try and snag a big catch or the ugliest fish — all for a good cause.

The Cameron County Mental Health Task Force held its 3rd Annual Fishing Tournament Saturday at Pier 19 on the Island. More than 75 people attended the event to fish or volunteer.

The fishing tournament was part of Mental Health Awareness Month.

“The goal is to teach positive family activities and provide an opportunity for families to just enjoy a day of fun at the Island,” said Shauna Ortiz, CCMHTF board member. “Throughout the morning we would see and hear children saying this was the first time they had ever caught a fish.”

Many children and adults cast their fishing lines for the chance to win a $50 cash prize and trophies for catching the ugliest fish, longest fish, longest stingray or most unique species.

“Not only did children and families have fun, but we’re meeting our mission in promoting community awareness and education in support of our scholarship program,” said Rose Gomez, CCMHTF chair.

The non-profit organization is planning to award five $1,000 scholarships to high school and graduating students from around Cameron County.

CCMHTF recognizes the Valley as one of the most underserved communities in regard to mental health and strives to invest in the future by supporting higher education for mental health related professions.

Local hospitals and business such as Valley Baptist Health Systems, Palms Behavioral Health, Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, Dr. Antonio Vega, Boggus Ford Harlingen, KOA at SPI and The Sportsman helped sponsor the tournament.

The CCMHTF has more than 25 organizations and concerned citizens who meet monthly to bring mental health awareness to the forefront of the community.

For more information contact Rose Gomez at 399-3075.