Chapter President, Hank Pomeranz.
Hi MAD family, we have about 4 months to go before the scheduled MAD Southport event (9/11-9/12 2020). Following is an update on our thinking…
First, I hope this note finds you and your families all well as we cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Southport Chapter of MAD is hopeful that we will be able to plan and hold this year’s Military Appreciation Day of Fishing event at Southport Marina.
NC is now in Phase I of the recovery / reopening efforts. IF all goes well and we progress from here to Phases 2 and 3 over the next couple of months, we hope to be able to solidify our plans.
In the meantime, we are dealing with several variables that are out of our control. Some are:
- The Governor’s Phase 3 plans do not yet specify the allowed size for large gatherings.
- The City of Southport has cancelled all public events until Labor Day – including the state 4th of July parade and celebration. Hopefully, the ban will be lifted by 9/12.
- Risk to our military guests, volunteers and others based on the state of the virus at the time.
- Will the military allow troops to attend?
We can’t control any of that, but flexibility is the key. We don’t view this as a simple yes or no decision at this time. We can adjust. For example, our event has grown considerably over time and we can scale it down as necessary. We can look at moving it later if it looks more promising, etc.
So, skippers and volunteers, let’s be optimistic and mark our calendars for Sep 11-12 and let’s plan on another great Southport MAD.
MAD Southport, as Military Appreciation Day Southport/Oak Island is referred to, began in 2008 after the second year of MAD in Morehead City.
There were numerous people in the Southport/Oak Island area that wished to take troops fishing and show their support for those that protect our freedoms, but were unable to make it to Morehead City for various reasons. The MAD Board of Directors looked at the area and saw that there was support for the event and agreed to work with the local supporters to make it happen and set the date for October.
The first MAD Southport captains meeting was held at Bill Smith Park in Oak Island and many opportunities for improvement were noted including holding the meeting where we would not have to cook having the area lit by headlights.
Since that rainy first year, MAD Southport has continued to grow, not only in support but in the number of troops taken out and the number of volunteer boats.
After holding the event in Oak Island and using different locations to support the activities, MAD Southport was moved to it’s current location at Southport Marina. The Marina location has allowed for all of the activities to take place at one location without having to move everyone around.