Go fishing with Hurricane greats for good cause

Breakthrough Miami celebrates the graduating Class of 2016
Breakthrough Miami’s graduating seniors

PrintUniversity of Miami Hall of Fame members and football greats Alonzo Highsmith and Melvin Bratton will host the sixth annual Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys/University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame (UMSHoF) Celebrity Fishing Tournament, June 24-25, in Islamorada. Event activities will take place at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87, on the Overseas Highway (US1).

New for the 2016 tournament, an Inshore Fishing Division has been added expanding the already broad appeal. The tournament weekend will begin Friday evening with a kickoff party, silent auction and captains’ meeting followed on Saturday by a full day of fishing, weigh-in, awards dinner and auctions featuring unique sports memorabilia, fishing gear, trips, artworks, as well as a variety of gift packages.

This is the only fishing event of its kind that matches participants with former Miami Hurricanes sports stars for the competition. Cash prizes and trophies will be presented to anglers in eight categories. A portion of the tournament proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Coastal Conservation Association and the UMSHoF.

fish UM
Pictured are some of the fish caught during the 2015 tournament.

“As we prepare for our sixth annual fishing tournament, we’re pleased to announce our renewed partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis,” said Gerard Loisel, president of the UMSHoF. “We also welcome this year’s hosts Melvin Bratton and Alonso Highsmith. This event will once again provide fans with a unique opportunity to fish alongside some of the greatest athletes to have worn the orange, green, and white, while raising funds for the UM Sports Hall of Fame and our partners.

“We’ve added an inshore fishing division this year, so no matter what your fishing preference, be sure to come join us June 24 and 25 in beautiful Islamorada,” Loisel added.

“It’s an honor to host this year’s fishing tournament and to be a part of the Miami legacy. I always wanted to be a Hurricane and will always be a Hurricane! It’s all about the U,” Highsmith said.

“Get ready for the OC’s (original Canes!). I am honored to be a part of this great event and we are going to have the two craziest hurricanes hosting ever — High and Mel B. Get your fishing rods and boats ready, Go Canes!” Bratton added.

Former Hurricanes sports stars scheduled to participate include NFL Hall of Famer and 2012 tournament host Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders), NFL Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks (Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders), Clinton Portis (Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins), Brett Romberg (Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons), Gary Dunn (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Damione Lewis (St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, New England).

The sixth annual Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys/UMSHoF Celebrity Fishing Tournament is brought to participants in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. For information about tournament participation, including boat entry or sponsorship opportunities, visit <www.canesfish.com>, call 305-667-0399 or contact tournament director Judy Layne at <judy@canesfish.com>. Follow the tournament on Facebook at <www.facebook.com/canesfish>.

An incoming freshman at the University of Miami majoring in Business and Finance and minoring in Sports Administration, Blake Miller graduated from Palmer Trinity School where he made the 2015-16 Miami Herald all county first team in baseball and football. Miller was a 2016 Silver Knight nominee and 2016 Miami-Dade Mayor’s Leadership Award winner. Any comments, he can be reached at <blakemiller1024@gmail.com>.

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