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2009   The Beginning

 

Since tuna and Washington sportsmen found one another out in the ocean, people have talked about holding a tuna fishing derby.  After years of talk, four anglers came together and formed the Washington Tuna Classic (WTC) in Feb 09.  Following the same format and working with the Oregon Tuna Classic, the WTC decided to give the donated fish to the food bank, but  also give cash donations to two additional worthy groups, the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans.    We held our first event on September 12, 2009 and given the poor economy, we anticipated around 20 teams would participate.  We were pleased to have 34 teams sign up.  The upwelling of community support was well beyond our wildest dreams and a strong reflection of the strength of our message.

September 12, 2009 started off in fog with 12 foot ocean swells and some wind chop in Westport, WA.  The “snotty” weather did not dissuade the participants who were determined to help those in need. The Coast Guard worked with us to ensure safe passage so our intrepid teams set forth to gather as much fish as they could.  When it was all said and done, we ended with 178 donated tuna totaling nearly four thousand pounds.  An additional 480 lbs of dry goods were also collected and donated to the local food bank.

Once back on shore, the team members and event staff gathered under the huge American flag flying at half staff in memory of September 11, 2001.   We were presented with an exceptional meal of tri-tip steak, oyster shooters, fresh corn on the cob, clams and salad all of which was donated by Emerald Cove Catering.  As the evening continued, the team members sat under the tent with anticipation to find out who won the top cash prizes as well as the numerous different prizes that we gave away thanks to our sponsor donations. 

When all was said and done, we were able to raise $7,200 in cash and donate nearly 4,000 lbs of high grade protein and 480 lbs of dry goods for our charities last year.  We were able to distribute over $11,000 in cash and donated prizes to the participants.  Our total support from sponsors exceeded 41k in our first year.  Not bad given we started with nothing in spring. 

 

  We could not have done this without the support of our sponsors and the outstanding community support!

 

Thank You! 

 

 
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