Goodwill tournament always fun
JUNE 4 was the first time in a dozen years I regrettably was unable to attend one of the most enjoyable fishing tournaments held in the Islands.
The 17th Annual Hawaii Yacht Club/Goodwill Industries of Hawaii Fishing Tournament was run that day while I was off inspecting Maui's small boat harbors for last week's column.
Nevertheless, thanks to information provided by the HYC's volunteer-extraordinaire Barbara Silvey and Goodwill VP Laura Kay Rand -- and my memories of past events -- I can still give you an idea of why I find it such a great tournament.
The anglers taking part in the tournament are either people on public assistance that are attempting to reenter the workforce, at-risk youths who have dropped out of school, or people with disabilities who are being helped by Goodwill Industries. Just taking part in this fishing tournament is unquestionably very special.
This was a record-breaking year for participants, with 102 Goodwill clients lining up to board the 18 boats provided by HYC and Waikiki Yacht Club members. And although I wasn't there, I can easily envision those early morning activities.
Every angler was provided with a life vest, fishing gear, and instructions on boating safety. Then, one by one, each was helped aboard a boat and was soon off to catch the "big one" beyond the reefs of Waikiki.
After a couple of hours of learning that fish love to eat stale bread, and that "fishing" doesn't always mean, "catching," the anglers were brought safely back to the HYC where their catches were identified, measured, weighed, and most often returned to the sea alive and unharmed.
While the judges decided who had caught the most fish, the biggest fish, the longest fish, the shortest fish, the most colorful fish, and the most unusual fish, the anglers were free to have lunch, play bocce ball, get their face painted, or just cool off with a tasty shave ice.
Reportedly, 70 percent of the 82 fish caught were released into the sea still wiggling, but better yet, 100 percent of the tournament's anglers and sponsors had a wonderful day.
It should also be mentioned that as their clients' participation in this fishing tournament has grown, so has Goodwill's service to Hawaii.
The number of people it serves has nearly tripled from 2,231 in 2002 to 6,653 in 2005 due to the agency's expansion of employment training and vocational programs.
Goodwill has helped thousands of people to become independent, tax-paying members of their communities by providing job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support.
Additionally, it is unique among not-for-profit agencies because most of Goodwill's revenue is earned through revenue-producing activities using donated goods, its retail operations, and its purchase of service contracts.
Given Goodwill's obvious success and its long-lasting collaboration with the HYC, I'm sure I can mark my calendar right now for next year's 18th annual tournament so I won't miss that one.