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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
The 3rd annual John Tortorella Fishing Tournament was a great success! The event, held on September 8, helped raise money for the Child Abuse Council, The Children’s Home, Inc. and the Lightning Foundation to help kids that have been victimized by abuse, neglect and abandonment. Sponsors gave financial support to these charities and went fishing with a local celebrity and a guide. All of the Tampa Bay Lightning players, coaches, and broadcasters served as celebrities. Other celebrities participating in the event included Oren Koules, an investor in Absolute Hockey Enterprises and the co-founder of Evolution Entertainment, Tony Mayberry and Mark Royals of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and “Hooked on Fishing” host Captain Bill Miller. Others included Lightning alum Daren Puppa and Ron Diaz, a radio host on 620 WDAE.

Participants competed in the tournament in three categories: snook, redfish, and trout in angler and celebrity categories. The grand slam winner caught a fish in each of these categories and had the cumulative longest length of each fish. This year’s winner was 11-year-old Catherine Weaver, who also received the junior angler award as well as a second-place finish in the trout category. Lightning equipment manager Ray Thill also had a grand slam in the tournament and finished first in trout in the angler division as well as second place in snook. Coach John Tortorella won an award in this year’s tournament by winning second place in the snook category.

Captain Mike Anderson, chairman of the event and head guide, received this year’s Community Fisherman Award for his success on and off the water. Captain Mike is one of the area’s best inshore fishing guides and he is committed to helping raise much needed funds for the three charities. Captain Mike also puts a lot of time into the tournament by arranging the guides and handling all the fishing logistics each year.

The Lightning and the Lightning Foundation would like to thank everyone for participating in this year’s event, which raised more than each of the previous two.
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