HARWICH ─ When it comes to raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cape and Islands, it takes a big tournament featuring some small fins, all to benefit the kids involved with the organization, which is why the Big 3 Fishing Tournament is all about the “Littles.”
Littles are the little brothers and sisters mentored by the dedicated volunteers of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and this Friday marks the fourth annual Big 3 tournament, which features fishing, fun, and important fundraising.
“This is the largest fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters agency on the Cape,” said Richard “JR” Mell, regional director of BBBS of the Cape and Islands. “I love how much the committee members who form this really get behind their love of fishing and their want to make an impact on the Cape and Islands.”
Mell explained that the idea for the tournament came from local businessman and avid fisherman EJ Jaxtimer of EJ Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. In the few years since the creation of the Big 3, the tournament has grown to include 325 attendees and more than 40 participating boats.
The main tournament takes place between 5 and 10 p.m. on Friday, July 14 during which tourney fisherman try their hand at catching tuna, striped bass, and bluefish before enjoying an after party at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port.
During the day is the “Little 3” in which Bigs and Littles head out for some morning and afternoon angling. The proceeds from the entire event benefit BBBSCCI, and according to Mell, in the past three years the tournament has raised more than $1 million dollars.
“It's been a phenomenal fundraiser, which has helped us serve more kids on the Cape and Islands,” said Mell.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization aims to provide children and teens in the Cape communities with mentors who offer friendship and support.
“It's so necessary because it provides kids in the community who may not have a positive role model with an adult role model,” said Mell. “They're not a parent or guardian; they're just a friend who will be there and make the difference.”
The organization hopes to be able to serve at least 400 kids by 2019 and is always seeking volunteer mentors, especially men.
“One of our biggest challenges is recruiting male volunteers,” said Mell, who noted that 86 kids are currently waiting for mentors, 68 of whom are boys. “Our biggest challenge is finding and attracting male mentors who are interested in making a difference in their community.”
If you are interested in learning more about BBBS mentoring and/or wish to make a donation, visit www.bbbsmb.org/cape-cod/.