Once again, sportsmen and anglers faced challenging sea conditions and heavy winds to support “The Lenny”, the annual sportfishing tournament that’s mission is to fund research to cure Glioblastoma brain cancer. Glioblastoma is a rare cancer that has affected many on the Treasure Coast, including more than a few local anglers and young watermen.
“Results from this year’s events and auction are still being tallied, but it promises to be our most successful year yet”, says Lenny Schelin, Sr, “Regardless of whether you participate as a sponsor, an angler or just enjoy the auction…it’s a great way to honor Lenny Jr’s memory and to support this worthy cause, treating and hopefully curing glioblastoma brain cancer”, he says.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will be awarded to the Cleveland Clinic Research and Innovation Center in Tradition, Port St. Lucie Fla. Last year’s tournament netted $50,000 for research. The Cleveland Clinic at Tradition is one of the leading centers for new research in genomic sequencing and other new breakthroughs.
This year’s tournament coincided with the Pelican Yacht Club Billfish Invitational Tournament, giving sport fisherman another opportunity to fish while also supporting ‘The Lenny”. There was increased participation this year, with boats from across the southeast participating in the billfish division and many new entrees in the meat fish division.
Awards and cash prizes were provided for both sailfish and meat fish divisions. Anglers fishing in the meat fish division were judged according to aggregate weight of a combination of dolphin, tuna, wahoo, cobia, king mackerel and grouper.
This year the top billfishing boat, Cowpoke, captained by Mike Brady won with nine released sailfish. Second place was claimed by Lo Que Sea, captained by Garrett Yarborough, with eight sailfish releases. Waterman was also a big winner this year, achieving third place in the overall billfish division, and also taking first place in the women’s tourney. Captained by Kevin Paul, Waterman released seven sailfish in the men’s division, with four caught by lady anglers in the women’s competition. Second place in the Women’s Division was Valentine. Ellen Gross fishing on Valentine, hooked all of her own fish, taking the top Lady Angler title. The smaller boats competing in the meat fish division braved the weather and all had good catches overall. Southern Eagle, captained by Chase Cornell, won top prize in the meat fish division with 52 points overall. Despite the weather, some nice tuna and mahi were caught.
“We’re hoping for better weather and improved fishing for meat fish next year,” said Lenny Schelin, Sr.
Sutton Paul continues to dominate the young anglers division this year, winning the Junior Angler title with top points on sailfish. He took home another sailfish trophy necklace, donated by Michael’s Jeweler’s in Fort Pierce.
Cobb’s Landing, Little Jim Bait & Tackle, and local purveyors provided live music and amazing food and drinks for the kickoff and the awards banquet. Down home southern barbecue with all the ‘fixin’s’ was prepared and donated by grillmaster Scott Holmes. This year many businesses generously provided donations for the tournament events, including the live auction. Donna Qvarstrom and her able staff, including Katie Hogan coordinated it all expertly.
The Lenny Schelin, Jr. Memorial Tournament is a non-profit 501(c)3. Organizers are already planning for next year’s event.
“It’s so gratifying and heartwarming to see the support that local businesses and anglers provide year after year to this event”, says Debbie Johnson, mother of Lenny Schelin, Jr. “It is just awesome that Lenny is so honored and remembered by friends and watermen at this event. We know it is helping bring us one step closer to a cure, year by year.”
Lenny Schelin, Jr. was a well-known and beloved mate and captain who lost his struggle with devastating terminal brain cancer in 2018 at the age of 33.
To learn more about the Lenny Schelin Memorial Tournament, visit www.lennyschelinmemorialtournament.com.