The Custom Shootout Fishing Tournament, held at the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour annually and organized by Captain Skip Smith, made a donation to two local charities in Abaco on June 11.
Benefitting from the Tournament’s donation were the Rotary Club of Abaco and the Marsh Harbour Public Library currently under construction by the Marsh Harbour Spring City Town Committee.
Checks of $2500 and $10,000 were presented to the Rotary Club and the Chairman of the town committee respectively.
Carl Archer, the Marsh Harbour Spring City Town Committee Chairman thanked Mr. Smith for the “generous donation towards the library.” He added, “Today you made a lot of kids and the people of Marsh Harbour very happy.” Valerie Dean, incoming President of Rotary Club Abaco was also thankful for the donation.
Captain Smith said that the Custom Shootout was started right after 9/11 to raise money for victims of that tragedy and in the years since have donated to a variety of charities.
“We’ve given away a lot of money to Breast Cancer Research, some to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and many other causes we find close to our heart,” he said.
He noted that being a charity in the USA it is hard to give to The Bahamas. “I finally got cleared to write a check directly to The Bahamas so this is our first time being able to really give a decent donation,” he said.
The fishing tournament started at Chub Cay in 2002 and became a yearly event. The First two tournaments took place in Chub Cay, then a few years in Harbour Island and now for the last several years they have held it at Boat Harbour.
“We’re excited about being able to give back to the people over here,” he said. “Besides the economic impact of 50 to 60 boats coming over here, so just that impact alone over a few weekends is over a million dollars to these outer islands.”
Mr. Smith said they chose these charities after he received “a beautiful letter from the Committee about the library asking for any assistance we may offer. I was a part of Rotary and I saw that they had their meetings at Boat Harbour and I know they are always doing great things for great people, hopefully in the future we will do more as we see more needs on this beautiful island.”
“It’s a lot of hard work and sweat for me to put these tournaments together but it’s all over when I write that check,” he said.
“It’s just so fulfilling at the end of the year you forget about all the blood, sweat and tears and you just know you’re really helping the people we’re able to help!”