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Press Release 1/22/2019

The First Annual Fish For Holly Sailfish Tournament was held at the Islander Resort on January 5th and 6th, 2019. In its inaugural year, 56 boats and 207 anglers of men, women and children fished the beautiful waters of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. 101 sailfish were caught and released on a picturesque day with variable winds of 10 – 12 knots and 1-2 foot seas.

The Fish For Holly Sailfish tournament, in its first year, was able to exceed expectations in the amount of money raised. Proceeds from this tournament and in years to come will assist community members in need and provide professional scholarships while also working closely with the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Upper Keys.

The memorial tournament was established to honor Holly Given’s life, which was cut short due to a tragic case of domestic violence. The Holly Given Fund, 501c(3) was established thereafter, and one year later, put on their first sail fishing tournament. The even gathered her loved ones from near and far, have a fun weekend of fishing, celebrating life, and spending time with friends.

It was an incredible event with close to 400 people in attendance both Friday night and Saturday night at the Islander’s Florida Keys History & Discovery Center. It was the largest tournament turnout Islamorada has ever seen, and in its first year to boot.

Teams fishing in the Fish For Holly tournament competed for prizes from top boat, top female, male, and junior anglers, as well as the oldest angler to catch a sail; “Old Salt”.

A great time was had by all, especially our winners. Team Dauntless, a 27’ Conch out of Bud n’ Mary’s Marina led by Capt. Jim Hendrix finished the day with 9 sailfish releases, getting their names placed on a beautiful perpetual trophy donated by Release Marine and displayed at Tackle Center of Islamorada. They took home additional awards for Top Female angler and Overall angler, Kristina Thompson, 2nd place overall angler Caroline Hendrix, and largest tuna weighing in at 28 lbs!

The runner-up team with 7 sailfish releases was the Catch-22 with Capt. Hunter Barron, and 3rd place team went to Fishbone with 5 releases led by Capt. Bill Chapman. Additional mentions, third place Overall angler went to Shannon Chapman aboard the Fishbone and the Overall Male angler went to Travis Butters on the Fearless. For the junior division, 1st place went to Grant Kavelir on Peacekeeper, 2nd to Connor Daniels on Kalex, and 3rd to Reef Bennett on Conetagious. The Old Salt award went to Jeff Creary on Chasin’ Sails.

The Annual Fish For Holly sailfish tournament was a fundraiser for The Holly Given Fund to be able to provide scholarships and training to Florida Keys community members who need assistance with education, business, and professional training, in addition to working closely with the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Upper Keys.

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