Fishermen help children attain dreams

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A sixteen year-old St. Johns County girl named Morganne is the happy beneficiary of this year’s “Fishing for Dreams” Invitational Charity Tournament, and Historic City News reader Wade Taylor got us the details.

2011 is the ninth year of giving for the non-profit organization, according to “Fishing for Dreams, Inc.”, President Cheryl Tillman.

“We support local children with life threatening medical conditions and families with special needs,” Tillman told Historic City News today. “The dream children are referred to us by Community PedsCare; the pediatric program of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.”

Morganne’s dream included a “shopping spree” which she took this past Wednesday — complete with a chauffeur-driven limousine provided by Good Times Limo.

“She bought an iPad, Wii, DVD player, clothes, shoes, Vera Bradley items, jewelry and more,” Tillman reported.

Morganne suffers from scoliosis, and had to have surgery to fuse her spine. She also developed reflux; requiring additional surgeries and a severe respiratory disease that requires her to use a ventilator at night.

According to Taylor, a group of folks who love to fish were holding tournaments just for fun but decided to fish for a cause. Thus, Fishing for Dreams was established.

Tillman said that the annual fishing tournament is their only fundraiser. “Volunteers help secure donations throughout the year and then we have a wonderful army of volunteers who gather to help out for the tournament weekend,” which this year was May 7th.

“Fishing for Dreams” is an inshore invitational tournament, Taylor told us. “Categories for fish are: Red bass, spotted sea trout and flounder.”

The evening before fishing commenced, the event kicked off with a pizza social — followed by the introduction of Morganne and her family; including her two brothers, Ryan who is 13 and Ethan who is 10.

Fishing began the next morning and continued until 4:00 p.m. Following the weigh-in, the tournament concluded with an awards ceremony.

The organization receives mail at 3424 Old Moultrie Road in St. Augustine all year long and you can get a complete history of the children, their families and the fishermen from 2003 on their website

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed photograph by Buddy and Cheryl Tillman

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