Nonprofit to host Battle on the Bay fishing tourney fundraiser

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Anglers have a chance to put their skills to the test in an upcoming fishing tournament.

Friends for Hope, a nonprofit organization in the upper Valley, will host its ninth annual Battle on the Bay Fishing Tournament fundraiser Saturday, July 27, at Louie’s Backyard on the Island.

Participants will be able to fish from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

A weigh-in will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., followed by dinner and awards at 5:30 p.m.

On-site registration for the tournament will be held Friday, July, 26 at Louie’s Backyard from 6 to 9 p.m.

A captain’s meeting will also be held Friday at the same location starting at 7:30 p.m.

The entry fee for competing teams is $500.

Each fishing team’s boat can have up to five members.

Participants are required to have a valid 2019 Texas Fishing License and Saltwater Stamp.

Fishing tournament divisions include red, trout and flounder.

Winning fish will be determined by weight and winners will receive cash prizes and awards.

Net proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic in McAllen.

According to Victoria Martinez Guerra, Director of Development for the clinic, the goal is to have more than 40 teams by next weekend.

The event is already “a little more than halfway” at reaching the goal.

“This is a really fun event that brings people together from throughout the Rio Grande Valley who love to fish,” Guerra said. “Seeing everyone come together to help a wonderful cause is always the most special thing.”

The need for funds

To help eliminate the need for families to travel out of the Valley for their children’s cancer and blood disorder medical care, the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic was established in 2001.

According to Friends for Hope personnel, childhood cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental deaths for children.

Through Friends for Hope’s 15-years of service and annual fundraisers, such as its fishing tournaments and fall benefit concerts, the nonprofit has raised more than $1.5 million for the clinic.

Guerra said donations from organizations such as Friends for Hope are vital to their survival.

“The Vannie E. Cook Jr. Clinic is also a nonprofit organization and in order for us to remain in operation, we have to raise over $2 million a year,” she said.

“We would not be here without the support of our community so having an organization like Friends for Hope is really what helps us keep our doors open and remain true to our mission of never turning away a child for inability to pay for treatment.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT — Friends for Hope ninth annual Battle on the Bay Fishing Tournament

WHEN — Friday July 26 and Saturday, July 27

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS — Registration from 6 to 9 p.m., captain’s meeting at 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE OF EVENTS — Fishing hours from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., weigh-in from 2 to 4 p.m., awards and dinner at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE — Louie’s Backyard, 2305 Laguna Blvd., South Padre Island

TEAM REGISTRATION — $500

For more information, email info@friendsforhope.com or fishing@friendsforhope.com