Every season the Panthers at Cypress Lake High purchase their own new baseballs and gear.
It's no secret that funding has been tight across the school district, so members of the Panther Baseball Alumni Club decided to organize a fishing tournament to raise money for the team. The proceeds go to paying for supplies, insurance, and even awarding scholarships to student-athletes in need.
"Internal funding is pretty much non-existent," said Chris Davison, a tournament organizer and president of the Panther Baseball Alumni Club. "The Panther Baseball Alumni Club has a charity arm that helps to fund the baseball team. This is an event where all the proceeds go towards that."
From left to right, Joshua Tuyls, Marni Tuyls, and Ryan Crown of last year's “Team Flippers on the Bay.” PHOTO PROVIDED.
Last year the tournament raised $8,000 for supplies and scholarships.
The Second Annual Panther Baseball Alumni Club Fishing Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 out of Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach, but Davison said it's an honor start so boats from Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island, or neighboring regions can participate.
The tournament begins at 7 a.m., scales open at 2 p.m. at Doc Ford's, and the live weigh-in is at 4 p.m. Later in the afternoon, the restaurant is hosting a post-tournament dinner with drink tickets for participating anglers, awards, raffles, prizes, and a 50/50 drawing.
What: Second Annual Panther Baseball Alumni Club Fishing Tournament
When: Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 a.m.
Where: Doc Ford's of Fort Myers Beach, 708 Fisherman's Wharf
Details: Visit pantherbaseballalumni.org
Registration is $250 for a boat with up to three people, $65 for extra anglers, and prizes include $2,000 for first, $1,000 for second, $500 for third, and $250 prizes for anglers who earn fifth, tenth, fifteenth, and twentieth places. The angler with the heaviest fish wins.
There is also a mandatory Captain's Meeting the night before the tournament, Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at Doc Ford's Fort Myers Beach at 708 Fisherman's Wharf. At least one member from each team must attend.
A number of Sanibel businesses are sponsoring the event, including Bailey's General Store, Sanibel Glass & Mirror, Sanibel Air Conditioning, Island Inn, Molnar Electric, Nave Plumbing, and Norris Home Furnishings.
For more information, visit pantherbaseballalumni.org.