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Rhode Island Lions Sight Foundation

Fishing Tournament for Visually Impaired Adults of RI
11th Annual, Sunday, June 24, 2018
2018 RILSF VIP Fishing Tourney App

Last Updated 8.31.2017

On June 25, 2017, The RI Lions Sight Foundation (RILSF) hosted our 10th Annual VIP Fishing Tournament for
isually Impaired Persons (VIP’s) of Rhode Island on a chartered party boat out of Galilee RI. A great time was had by all and we thank of you that participated. and provided support.  

2017 RILSF VIP Fishing Tournament Report

Fellow Lions and VIP Tournament Supporters & Participants, this year we held our 10th Annual VIP Fishing Tournament. All participants were in good spirits. The weather was great, with a light wind and the catch was better than last year. The guides and volunteers did a great job helping the VIP’s and Captain Mike & the Crew of the “Admiral Frances” were very responsive & professional as usual.

This year we had a total of 99 applicants, a “banner’ year, but we were restricted to 0 on board due to the limited availability of boats. The fleet was dry-docked thisyear for maintenance and refinishing but, due to the very wet spring, the boatyard could not paint on schedule so our usual boat, the large “Lady Frances”, was notready in time. However, due to the generosity of some VIP’s volunteering their spot,and the usual attrition that occurs, we were able to meet the capacity restriction with41 VIPs and 39 Guides & Volunteers that represented all four corners of the Rhode Island.

The scoring method used is a point system in which “Keeper” Fluke are worth 5 points, “non-Keepers” are 3 points and any “Other” species is worth 2 points. The total catch by the VIPs’ was 82 fish which included quite a few Fluke but only 2 “keepers” and as was the case last year, the Black Sea Bass was the most
frequently caught fish and included several keepers. (Capt. Mike indicated that this appears to be an ongoing trend) Therefore, we will likely add a category for this next year to liven up the scoring as there were some very impressive Sea Bass that only earned 2 points.

We then held an Awards Luncheon at Pancho O’Malley’s in Narragansett and, after a great buffet and a free raffle for the VIP’s, we announced the following winners:

  • 1st Place (8 fish/19 pts) – Jodie Authelete of Warwick.(1st time participant and veteran camper and counselor of Camp Machetea, our Summer Camp for visually impaired kids)

  • 2nd Place (5/13 pts) – George O’Keefe of Greenville. (His 2nd win in his 2 years of participation)

  • 3rd Place (3/9 pts) – Lori Gober of Pawtucket. (National VIP participant in 2014)

  • 4th Place (5/11pts) – Richard O’Neill of Scituate. (1st Alternate)

  • 5th Place (4/11pts) – Ed DeSourcy of Pawtucket. (2nd Alternate) Rhode Island Lion's Sight Foundation, Inc

    These VIPs’ and their Guides will represent Rhode Island at the Lions National VIP Fishing Tournament being held October 16-18 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.Details can be found at: http://www.ncvipfishing.org/ On behalf of the RI Lions Sight Foundation, the VIP Tourney Team, and especially
    the VIP’s, we want to thank the contributing RI Lions Clubs, Individual Donors, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Foster Grant (Sunglasses for all) for their support of this event and to the Frances Fleet and Pancho O’Malley’s for treating us so well. We look forward to your continued participation and support in 2018!

    Yours in Lionism,
    Lion Ken Barthelemy                       Lion Bill Hawkins
    kenbar123@aol.com                      rhodydaytrippers@yahoo.com

2017 RILSF VIP Fishing Tournament More photos to follow

Our History



2016 RILSF VIP Fishing Tournament
A great article on last years tourney that appeared in the July edition of the South County Life Magazine. It was written by their reporter William Geoghegan who really captured the essence of the event, despite all of the seasickness that surrounded him. Read more.....

2016 RILSF VIP Fishing Tournament Participants


2016 RI VIP Tourney Winners

1st Place - Janice Musco, 2nd Place – Rob Sousa, 3rd Place – George O’Keefe (Side Pic)


2016 National VIP Fishing Tournament Report
October 27, 2016

Fellow Lions, VIP’s and supporters of the VIP Tournaments
I am pleased to report that the New England VIP Fishing Team has safely returned from a great trip to the National VIP Fishing Tournament on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We did feel the effects of Hurricane Matthew in the form of reduced overall attendance and in the waters of Oregon Inlet where our 1st day of fishing takes place. The waters were brown, fish and other wildlife were very scarce and, even though the boat captain went to places that we’ve not been in all the years we’ve attended, we still had only 4 fish. As we neared the end of the day, he took us back to the marina, tied off away from the dock and the VIP’s caught more fish than they had in the previous 5 hours.

The New England VIP Tournament, which consisted of CT, MA & RI, awards 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies and there is a Perpetual Plaque that is awarded to the District Governor of the winning state. This year’s winner is the Massachusetts Team won 1st place and Rhode Island took 2nd & 3rd place. The plaque is typically presented at a NE District Governors meeting.

The National Tournament is on Wednesday on the state-of-the-art Jennette’s Pier and this year there were participants from as far away as Georgia and Canada. Most fish are small Spots and Pinfish that will fit in your hand but they are exciting for the VIP’s to catch, and thankfully, with the catch & release points-by-species scoring system used, size doesn’t matter. Compared to last year the fishing was also slow on the pier and as a result the competition was very tight.

Even though, the New England team did not win a National trophy this year, everyone still had a great time experiencing the event and meeting other participants. The organizers, participants, and especially Bob & Dee Christensen, continue to live up to their reputation for amazing Southern hospitality.

This years’ RI participants were:
Janice Musco, Lincoln - 3rd place winner of the NE Tourney and 4-time National participant.
Rob Sanchas, Warren - 3rd place winner of the NE Tourney
Donny Rego - West Warwick

The Winner of the New England Lions VIP Tournament was Joe Bonardi of Worcester, MA

There were also special VIP Ambassador Awards presented to those who have had a significant impact on the VIP Fishing program and I had the privilege of presenting them to;
PDG Dom Branco on behalf of the RILSF for his assistance over the years with promoting this event in RI and with the DG’s of New England.
Lion Don Hayden on behalf of the Scituate Lions for his contributions to the RI VIP Tournament and for his avid support of the VIP Fishing program.

This was our 3rd year travelling by bus which provides the opportunity for everyone to meet and interact before the tournaments. Our fellow group leaders from CT & MA are tremendous to work with and are very helpful in putting this trip together and I would be remiss if I did not recognize the help that they provide. The ride on the DATTCO bus was again made especially enjoyable by the service, enthusiasm and care for the VIPs shown by our driver Hector Medina who also helps on the boat and pier. It is especially gratifying to witness the VIPs’ and Guides get excited, laugh, learn, and gain self-confidence in a new environment, and especially, to become such good friends with each other.

On behalf of the New England Lions VIP Fishing Team, I want to express our appreciation for the contribution from the Pabst Blue Ribbon Northeastern Fishing Tournament which helps with the cost of the bus and we look forward to their continued support.

Also, I want to thank the RILSF, the Dist. 42 Lions Clubs, and individual Lions, especially Bill Hawkins, for his support in providing this extraordinary opportunity for the VIP’s to grow stronger, improve their lives and represent the Lions of RI District 42.

Yours in Lionism,
Ken Barthelemy
Lion Ken Barthelemy, Tournament Chair

Pictures are below and more can be found on Facebook under “N.C. Lions VIP Fishing Tournament, Inc.”


2016 RILSF VIP Fishing Tournament