During the “Hook Em for Caleb” Fishing Tournament held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the Bradenton Yacht Club, the community gathered to support a local fisherman injured in a tragic boating accident. In March, 14-year-old Caleb Bennett suffered major brain trauma as a result of a boating accident and proceeds from the benefit were raised for Caleb and his family to cover medical expenses as he continues to recover.
More than 60 local businesses supported the event through sponsorships and donations to the silent and live auctions, held before the awards ceremony. There were 30 fishing teams signed up for the tournament: 7 junior teams (aged 17 and under), 3 adult women’s teams and 20 men’s teams, and approximately 30 children signed up for the kids’ tournament.
“We are blessed and incredibly overwhelmed with the way our community rallied to support this young man and his family through this tournament,” said Chris Quattlebaum, Manasota Flooring Manager and tournament committee member. “Our team set an initial goal and I’m proud to say that not only were we able to surpass that goal; we more than doubled it. Thank you to all of our friends and neighbors who donated, fished and supported in every way possible, helping us make a huge impact in our local community.”
Several local dignitaries attended the event, including Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells, along with several Manatee County Deputies. During the live auction, hosted by local auctioneer Joe Davis, Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant donated one of her pecan pies during the live auction with a winning bid of $350.
Event sponsors included Yellowfin Yachts, Manasota Flooring, Christie’s Plumbing, Conley Buick, Arctic Air, Manatee County Cattlemen’s Association, Manatee Junior Cattlemen’s Association, Mainspring Communications, Popi’s Place and Shake Station. Additional sponsors can be found on the event’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/HookemforCaleb/. A list of event winners and photos can also be found through the Facebook page.
Those wishing to donate to the Bennett family can do so by contacting HookemforCaleb@gmail.com.