The Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament presented the second of two donations on behalf of the 26th annual event held the second weekend in August.
Although the fishing tournament was scheduled to have terrible weather, 54 teams with 325 lady anglers signed up and made the charity event a success. Anglers and crew enjoyed two nights of dinner and dancing at Pirate’s Cove Marina. “Our participants and sponsors really showed their support this year,” says Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “In the end we were able to donate almost $36,000 to our charities and that is amazing!” Congratulations go out to all the teams who braved the weather and especially to team “True Grit”; the ladies released 4 white marlin to earn Top Boat honors.
The Alice Kelly event was created by some of Kelly’s friends after she succumbed to hotchkin’s disease in the late 1980’s. Kelly started the Outer Banks Cancer Support Group when she was diagnosed and the tournament has been the primary fund raiser for the group since its inception. Management of the group was recently taken over by Interfaith Community Outreach and the current members and volunteers are truly happy with the organization that Interfaith has provided. “Helping cancer patients is different than some of the other assistance we offer in the community,” explains Jennifer Albanese the Director of Interfaith. “Each case is so different but we are able to provide transportation, which was the original mission of the Cancer Support Group, and financial support as well.” The Group received a donation of $27,606.00 from the tournament which was raised through entry fees, sponsor dollars and raffle tickets.
New in 2015 the Alice Kelly supported the Get Pinked and More Program at the OBX Hospital through a bra decorating contest. Bras were purchased from the tournament, decorated, returned and put on display during the event. Anglers and guests “bid” on their favorite by donating cash and the bras raised a whopping $8,357.00!! The Get Pinked program originally provided mammograms free of cost to men and women that live or work in Dare, lower Currituck or Hyde Counties. Qualifying is simple and the first free mammogram was performed on October 17, 2011. “We have performed over 1200 mammograms; peace of mind is the usual outcome but we have found several cancers early,” says Amy Montgomery, the Senior Administrator of Operations at the hospital. “This year we were able to expand the program to lung cancer testing and next year we hope to add another cancer screening.”
Expansion of the program will be formally announced at the Hospital’s donor thank you dinner which will take place on November 13. The Alice Kelly bras will be auctioned off at the dinner and will be on display in the OBX Hospital lobby until that time in celebration of breast cancer awareness month. Contact the hospital for at 252-449-9183 to purchase tickets and stop by to check out the decorated bras.
The Pirate’s Cove Tournaments began in 1983 with the inaugural Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament. 33 years later the tournaments are owned and operated by a non-profit corporation and a board of directors dedicated to supporting fishermen and marine related business in Dare County and beyond. For more information on the events or to inquire about charitable giving contact Heather Maxwell, Tournament Director 252-305-3610, [email protected], www.fishpiratescove.com