Event also to feature raffles, craft brews and food at The Point in Osprey
In collaboration with the Sarasota-based Casting For the Kids foundation, and in observance of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, a fishing tournament fundraiser has been planned for Sept. 23-24 in Osprey, the organizers have announced.
All of the donations and boat entry fees will benefit Casting For the Kids, a news release says, and they will be tax-deductible.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit Casting For the Kids foundation explains on its website that it strives “to uplift families in their battle against childhood cancer by alleviating financial burdens brought on by the combination of high medical bills, ongoing living expenses, and lost wages and by creating and capturing family memories that will last forever.”
Registration for the Osprey event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, a flyer notes. That will be held at Alpine Steakhouse, which is located at 4250 S. Tamiami Trail.
Then, at 6:30 p.m. the same day, the Captains Meeting will be conducted, followed by the official start of the tournament, the flyer adds.
At 1 p.m. on Sept. 24, at The Point in Osprey (131 Bayview Drive), food, craft brew and raffles will be featured.
A dockside fishing event for children will start at 2 p.m. on Sept. 24, the flyer says. That also will take place at The Point, along with the raffle drawings and the awards ceremony for the tournament, which are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The flyer points out, “Those not fishing can still join us for food, local craft beers and great raffles!”
Coastal Exteriors is the sponsor of the tournament.
“The statement ‘Your child has cancer’ should never have to be said to any parent,” the news release says. Yet, it adds, “Those are the exact words” that local families have had to hear.
Among them, Ben and Ginger Shroyer learned in 2018 that their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, had been diagnosed with Stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma, the news release says. “Hannah underwent several rounds of chemotherapy, two bone marrow transplants, radiation, immunotherapy and multiple surgeries. Fortunately, the treatment worked and Hannah was able to achieve remission.”
Unfortunately, just a year later, the release continues, she developed a second form of cancer, histiocytosis sarcoma of the brain. Hannah underwent surgery to remove the tumor, the release adds, but six weeks later, the tumor was back in the same spot.
After much discussion with doctors specializing in treatment of that type of cancer, the release explains, the decision was made to put Hannah “on a targeted chemotherapy that she would take twice a day at home.” That went on for two years, the release says.
Hannah is in remission for both of her cancers, the release adds. “She is now a spunky 6-year-old attending first grade here in Sarasota.”
While Hannah was in treatment, her parents, became good friends with members of other families at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, the release notes. Those friends included Matt Rebhan and Heather Woulfe, parents of Logan Rebhan, who was just 3 months old when he was diagnosed with infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
After a 20-month battle with that disease, the release says, Logan achieved remission, but he relapsed a short time later and died in March 2020.
“These two families have had to endure the unthinkable,” the release points out, including financial hardships. Therefore, in 2020, they decided to raise money to support other families battling childhood cancer. They established the nonprofit Casting For the Kids, with an annual fishing tournament.
Ben Shroyer is the executive director, while Matt Rebhan is chair of the board, the release notes.
“Families should never have to worry about coming home from the hospital and wondering if the lights are still on because they couldn’t afford their electric bill that past month,” Shroyer said in the release.
Rebhan added, “Families should never have to wonder how they are going to afford groceries or pay their mortgage; that’s where we come in.”
Anyone who cannot participate in the Sept. 23-24 event who would like to make a donation to the nonprofit may visit the website or reach out to Ben Shroyer at 941-284-0637 or email@example.com.