MAD 2015 Charleston Chapter Event Summary
One. Simple. THANKS. That was our message to the Troops!
To the captains, volunteers, donors, our fellow MAD Chapter members and supporters, the MAD Charleston Chapter would like thank you for making our inaugural event a huge success, consisting of 34 boats providing 82 Troops with a great day of fishing.
If you did not attend, here’s what you missed:
Friday’s Captains’ Meeting started with a brief history of MAD and a few rules were announced. In the crowd were two SCDNR officers who presented a “Governor’s Proclamation” declaring Saturday, November 14, 2015 as Military Appreciation Day in the State of South Carolina. We were very humbled to receive such an honor; thank you Gov. Nikki Haley. After the meeting, we dined on some fresh subs and wraps, washed them down with sweet tea, and watched a beautiful fall sunset.
Saturday morning started off cool and our captains faced high northeast winds, making fishing extremely difficult. Despite the added challenge, at 7:04 am we had our first report of the day, a 22″ trout. Other captains were able to find the fish; Troops caught and released speckled trout, weakfish, redfish, sheepshead, black drum, bluefish, black sea bass, and more. On shore, our volunteers passed the time with cornhole, posting incoming photos from captains, and preparing for the arrival of hungry captains and troops. Mid-afternoon, one of the best cooking teams in town, the Pioneer Smokers, rolled in. Slowly, captains and troops began arriving back at Rivers Edge Marina. At 5:15, huge portions of pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, green beans, smoked mac’n’cheese, dirty rice, and homemade tater salad were served. By 6:30, over 120 souls with tired arms and smiling faces had been served a superb meal. Once again, we were treated to a fantastic sunset as the day ended.
Our out-of–town help included Lewes, DE Chapter President Hector Reyes, who traveled the furthest, 600 miles, to be there to support us. We were very honored to have Mr. John Polosky, one of the original four MAD founders, travel from Harkers Island, NC to show his support. Tidewater, VA Chapter Vice President A.J. Cole came to lend assistance on the tech side with the rolling slide show of the day’s catches. In addition we had help from Master Boat Coordinator Scott Krieger (Sandford, NC), Julie Williams (Henderson, NC), Mike Stein (Morehead, NC), and David Call (Southport, NC).
“THANK YOU” to Tracey Nelson at Rivers Edge Marina for promoting and hosting the event. The biscuits he dropped off early Saturday morning were a wonderful addition! And he invited us back for next year…
“THANK YOU” to our other Supporters;
SEATOW Charleston, Charleston Sign & Banner, Prowess Sportfishing, WEST Marine, SC Sportsman Magazine, and Coastal Angler Magazine.
One huge hurdle we jumped was a “special fishing license waiver” we obtained exempting the troops from purchasing a one day license. “THANK YOU” to our Board Member George McDonald in Fort Mill, SC. He was responsible for working with SCDNR in Columbia. Thank you Mr. Alvin Taylor, Director of SCDNR. This event could not have happened without the waiver!
Our MAD Charleston Chapter event was the last of five MAD events that are spread over four states. We have identified areas where we can improve our future events, and need to find new supporters and volunteers. We’ll start planning MAD 2016 Charleston soon and if you’d like to join a growing team of energetic volunteers, do not hesitate to contact us. Please follow us on our MAD web site (www.militaryappreciationday.org), “like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MADCharleston), and tell your friends. Next year we anticipate the boat numbers to double. That means more troops get to go fishing and that’s what this event is all about.
Once again, thank you for your support of our United States of America Military troops. These men and women put their lives on the line for us. Please remember to thank them each time you see them.
Charleston Chapter Team Members:
Gene Morrison, President
Andy Bajoczky, Vice President
Chris Coates, Boat Coordinator
Janet Charbonneau, Treasurer
George McDonald, Board Member