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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 11.8.2017

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

2017 National VIP Fishing Tournament Report

Fellow Lions, VIP’s and supporters of the VIP Tournaments                                                                                                       

I have the pleasure of reporting that the New England VIP Fishing Team has safely returned from another great trip to the National VIP Fishing Tournament.  

We headed out with the MA VIP Team from Warwick Rt. 117 Park & Ride at 5:45 AM and, after picking up the CT VIP Team in Clinton, we settled in for the 12-plus hour ride to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  As usual, spirits were high and it didn’t take long, between naps, for the participants to get to know each other. This years’ RI participants were: Jodie Authelete, Warwick; David Cavaco; Warwick and Richard O’Neill, Scituate 

The NE VIP Tournament includes CT, MA & RI, and trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place are awarded.  There is also a Perpetual Plaque that is awarded to the District Governor of the winning State/District.  The tournament is usually held on Tuesday during the NC State VIP Tourney on a head boat but, due to a very small catch on a very cold & windy day, we postponed it until Wednesday during the National Tourney and the better weather that was predicted 

The National Tournament is held on the state-of-the-art Jennette’s Pier and participants come from as far away as Louisiana and Canada.  Most fish are small Spots, Mullets and Pinfish that are very exciting for the VIP’s to catch, despite the size because scoring is by points based on species.  Happily, both the fishing and the weather were much better for everyone and the CT VIP’s found the “hot spot” and cleaned house taking all 3 places!   

Maryanne Melley of W. Hartford came in 1st in the NE Tourney and also won 2nd place in the National tournament keeping the New England “Yankee’s” competitive reputation alive!  The New England winners were presented with trophies and, this year, each had the special treat of receiving fishing poles donated by Bass Pro Shop, Outdoor World in Foxboro MA. (See picture below) The NE VIP Tournament plaque was presented by MA to CT at the NE District Governors meeting in Vermont this weekend. 

This was our 4th year travelling by bus which is the most comfortable and safe conditions we’ve found and provides an opportunity for everyone to meet and interact during the trip.  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 always especially gratifying to see the excitement of the VIPs’ and Guides as they laugh, learn, and gain self-confidence in a new environment, and especially, to become such good friends with each other.  This year included solo VIP’s Sarah (VA) and “Big” Kyle (LA) whom we provided guides for and they have happily become “honorary” members of the NE Team.

On behalf of the New England Lions VIP Fishing Team, I want to express our appreciation for the generous contribution from the Pabst Brewing Co. and for those who supported the Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser which help to cover the cost of the bus.  

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the critical support that our fellow Lions from CT & MA provide. They are tremendous to work with and are very helpful in putting together and managing this trip.                       

Lastly, I want to thank the RI Lions Sight Foundation, the Dist. 42 Lions Clubs, and the individual Lions, for your support of in providing this extraordinary opportunity for the VIP’s to grow stronger, improve their lives and represent the Lions of RI District 42 in this and the RI VIP Tourney

Yours in Lionism,

Ken Barthelemy
Lion Ken Barthelemy, Tournament Chair



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