Puerto Vallarta was the destination for anglers and golfers who participated in this year’s BJ’s Restaurants Hook the Cure Tournament powered by IOTEC. The nearly sold-out tournament took place on November 6th and 7th and reeled in a whopping $345,000 NET for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The IGFA-qualifier brought two dozen boats and 40 teams. The competition started on Friday morning as anglers met early at the docks and eagerly awaited the strike of six marking the start of the catch and release competition coordinated by Kim and Ed Moore of Marina-based Charter Dreams.
Weekend festivities included a pre-tournament Mexican fiesta and fireworks show at Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa; Friday night concert by RCA Recording Artist Chris Young who celebrated his #1 song on the country charts; golf at Vista Vallarta’s challenging Nicklaus course; a lively dockside weigh-in party with food and beverage provided by Andale Restaurant and an awards gala and auction, sponsored by American Airlines and hosted by Los Angeles radio personality Shawn Parr. For those that just wanted to relax, Villa Premiere’s world-class spa was just a few steps away. Puerto Vallarta rental agency, PVRPV, provided volunteers for the festivities.
As excited spectators and sponsors filled the Marina, most boats made it in by five in anticipation of the results. The team of Tom Paige and Jon Louis were rewarded with a 2010 IGFA Offshore World Championship entry in Cabo San Lucas as OVERALL CHAMPIONS with five dorado and seven released sailfish. Lucille Zabel and Lydia Francis captured the coveted MOST RELEASED BILLFISH award while Craig Porpoat and David Bales garnered the BIGGEST DORADO AWARD and Anchorage’s Kris Kile took home the CHAIRMAN’S AWARD. Awards were donated by Gray’s Taxidermy of Puerto Vallarta.
According to Bob Huston and Jeff Jennison, 2009 event chairmen, $1.3 million NET was generated for cystic fibrosis patient care, research and education since the tournaments inception just four years ago. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting approximately 40,000 people in the United States and Mexico. A defect in the CF gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic, life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was established in 1955, few children lived to even attend elementary school. Today because of research and care supported by the CF Foundation with money raised through donations from families, corporations and foundations the median predicted age for people with CF is nearly 37 years.
In addition to BJ’s Restaurants and IOTEC, significant financial support was provided by Norm Wilson and Sons, O’Connell Family Foundation, Toshiba, Watson Land Company, Ron and Ann Hallagan, Toshiba, Millie and Severson, William Close Family and Lee & Associates.
Plans are underway for the Fifth Annual Hook the Cure slated for early-November 2010. Information about the ultimate fishing, golf and spa adventure benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is available by contacting Gary Green, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Director of Corporate Development, at (714) 494-4623 in the US or 322 150-7214 in Puerto Vallarta. A new Hook the Cure website will be unveiled shortly at www.hookthecure.com and will feature an interactive photo gallery thanks to Nuevo Vallarta resident and award-winning photographer Jay Ailworth.