The fun of sports fishing translated into the joy of giving and receiving on August 16, when the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) board members presented a $5000 check to the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas, compliments of the VIGFC’s July Open Billfish Tournament (JOBT).
“The tournament was a success this year and we are happy to be able to contribute once again to the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas,” says tournament director, Jeffrey Kreiner.
The VIGFC and its annual JOBT have benefited the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas for over 20 years.
“This donation will be used to support our entire program,” says Jacqueline Brown, director of the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas. “It will go towards the purchase of first aid supplies, school and educational materials, sports and recreational equipment and more.”
The Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas serves over 160 6- to 18-year-olds annually, both afterschool and during summer and school holidays. The Club’s comprehensive series of programs, which include homework assistance, job preparation skills, sports and fitness activities, health workshops and participation in Project Learn, enables young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
In addition to monetary and in-kind donations that over past years have included computers and Christmas parties complete with presents, the VIGFC has also treated Boys & Girls Club members to an opportunity to fish. On July 1, 58 of the Club’s 6- to 17-year olds lined the docks at the American Yacht Harbor Marina for the July Open Kid’s Tournament. For most, it was the first time to try on this watersport and it provided a life-changing experience.
“I was so happy I was screaming when I caught my barracuda,” says 10-year-old Ronequa Krigger, a sixth grader at Lockhart Elementary School.
Fishing, and catching, came easier than expected to 11-year-old D’Tasia Huggins, also a six grader at Lockhart. “I caught a puffer fish. It was pretty easy. I definitely want to go fishing again!”
The VIGFC was founded in 1963 by a small group of dedicated sports fishing enthusiasts with the goal of enjoying and promoting the sport of fishing in the Virgin Islands. The Club’s JOBT is the longest annually held angling contest in the Virgin Islands and it is the tournament that put the territory on the world’s blue marlin fishing map with Elliot Fishman’s all-tackle world record 845-pound blue marlin in 1968. The JOBT will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2013. The Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas is the VIGFC and JOBT’s chief beneficiary. For more information, call 340-775-9144 or visit: www.vigfc.com