With sponsorships tougher to come by than in the past, more money needed to be raised through all of the other revenue avenues, meaning raffles, food, liquor, wine and beer sales, auctions and donations.
“As usual, the Miami Springs/VG area responded like they always do,” said Silva. “Not only did the people show up and support the fish fry but the community itself as a whole, including all of the local businesses, responded as well with so many generous donations, which we were so appreciative (of).”
Another added item this year were the special honorees. All past presidents of the Optimist Club were invited up on stage to be honored.
“It was great to see so many past Optimist presidents be honored as we wanted to say thank you to the many who spent the last 65 years blazing a path of success and serve the community so well,” Silva said.
Leading the way in terms of “stepping up to the plate” was Tim Lycke, owner and proprietor of Incredible Fish, who donated all of the delicious dolphin that was deep-fried and came out fresh and hot thanks to Miller’s Doral Ale House, which brought its portable kitchen setup and planted stakes off to the side of the Gazebo.
Ale House also provided the corn on the cob, cole slaw, rolls and tartar sauce which came with the meal. The Miami Springs Optimist Civil Air Patrol did the serving.
Perhaps it was only appropriate that Lycke and his Incredible Fish crew which went out on Buddy Grace’s Charter boat “The Fever” brought in two big dolphin totaling 54 pounds even, good enough for a fourth-place check of $750.
The last payout was $500 for fifth place and the boat Mango 26, captained by Mike Dominguez, aka “Big Mike,” got it with a haul of 49.95 pounds.
Thanks to boss Andy Luna, a few members of the Miami Springs Senior High School Marching Band were on hand and performed the national anthem while the Civil Air Patrol presented and Boys Scout Troop 334 looked on.
Miami Springs wrestling coach Dave Ryan had his kids organized and working the tent selling food tickets and raffle tickes. Perhaps it was only fitting that Leon, one of the Rabbit’s Foot anglers, was one of his former wrestlers.
The junior angler winner was Osmanny Gonzales off Boat No. 7 who snagged a 24.8-pounder, while three female anglers placed with three dolphin separated by a little more than two-tenths of a pound.
Ronna Cabraz (off the boat Hammerhead II) won the female category with a dolphin weighing 27.15 pounds followed very closely by second-place finisher Jessica Trujillo (Incredible Fish, 26.95) and Chelsea Hutchisson (Sector 7 Marine, 26.90) for third.