Fishing event spreads goodwill

Water Ways
Honolulu Star Bulletin (06/17/00)
By Ray Pendleton

Being a spectator at a fishing tournament is something akin to watching the door of a firehouse - hours of waiting, punctuated with brief moments of high excitement.

But thanks to organizer Barbara Silvey, skipper Frank Thomas and the crew of his 42-foot Grand Banks, Hawaiian Clipper, I was able to view a fishing tournament last weekend where every moment was a delight.

This angling contest was the Goodwill Industries of Hawaii's 11th Annual Fishing Tournament, held in conjunction with the Hawaii Yacht Club.

The tournament was created to provide the clients of Goodwill with an opportunity to socialize and interact together in a unusual and fun-filled setting.

Goodwill's clients are people of all ages who are challenged by personal barriers to employment such as developmental, physical, emotional, or mental disabilities.

They may also have economic or vocational barriers related to welfare dependency, limited work experience, or job layoffs.

Once these individuals have been referred to Goodwill, most will receive occupational training at its 30,000-square-foot facility in Mapunapuna.

There they are given the opportunity to learn skills in computer operation, food service, industrial custodial operations, and retail sales.

Additionally, because of Goodwill's distinctive donated goods and retail store operations, clients can gain valuable work experience in transportation, processing, warehouse and sewing operations.

Together with its community work program and purchase of service contracts, its unique operation makes it rare among not-for-profit agencies in that most of its annual revenue is earned.

In the past year, Goodwill Industries aided over 1,700 people in Hawai`i and assisted over 400 in finding outside employment in the community. Without such help, most of these would have otherwise been dependent on government assistance or community services.

At last Sunday's fishing tournament, more than 50 Goodwill clients had arrived at the Hawaii Yacht Club by 8 a.m. and were soon assigned to one of 11 boats being volunteered by their owners.

Each angler was provided a rod, reel and life jacket, and each boat had more than enough bait for the task at hand.

The fishing grounds were designated as the near-shore area outside of the harbor, so it was open season on any and all reef fish.

Within moments of the boats' setting their anchors, shouts of excitement were echoing across the water as anglers began reeling in fish of every shape, color and size (under a foot).

And, the grins were not limited to the anglers as there seemed to be quite a few smiles on the volunteers' faces as well.

All too soon, the two-hour time limit had passed and it was time to head back to the club for the official weigh-in.

One by one, each proud angler brought his or her catch to the weigh-master. And, since the fish had been kept alive, it was the weigh-master's job to somehow identify, measure and weigh the slippery, flip-flopping, and sometimes spiny ocean critters. Once so processed, the fish were returned to the sea.

After an abundant barbecue lunch - although everyone involved was a winner - the official winners of the fishing tournament were announced. Most colorful: Jason Selma, Smallest: Jill Clarks, Longest: Robin Kaneshiro, Most: Tom Space, Heaviest: Kimberly Wetherall, and Total Weight: Dawn Horwath.

Congratulations to them all.

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