Tournament Reaches 2 Million mark in Donations
To promote sportfishing throughout Carteret County and the state of North Carolina.
To promote Conservation among Sportfishermen.
To raise money for Charities and Worthy Community Projects.
To preserve Maritime Culture and Heritage.
To promote Marine Education.
Since 2007, the Big Rock Board of Directors and its Charity Committee have focused on a core group of charities for most of the charitable proceeds from each tournament. In addition to these yearly donations, the board is also seeking new larger impact community projects such as the $175,000 donation that Big Rock made in 2007 to the Town of Morehead City for the Big Rock Stadium at Puck O’Neal Field. The entire process is driven by the fit between Big Rock’s five-point mission statement and the destination of the charitable funds.
This year’s Tournament Charity Committee consists of Casey Wagner, chairman, Carol Lohr, Richard Crowe, Ben Moore and Curtis Strange.
Two weeks after the tournament each year, the board invites the charities selected to attend a special luncheon sponsored by Allegiance Security. The donations are disbursed and each organization is given a chance to expand on how the funds aided in their efforts. The tournament is very proud of its past contributions totaling $2,041,163 after the 2010 charitable contributions of $106,413.
Last year the inaugural Keli Wagner Big Rock Lady Angler Tournament sponsored by ALEXSEAL YACHT COATINGS held on Saturday June 6, 2009, experienced great weather that resulted in a whopping 61 boats and 30 non-fishing teams. This phenomenal success produced a substantial donation to the RAAB Oncology Clinic of $23,413.
Although the Big Rock board identifies the charities for the current operating year, the exact amounts given will not be determined until the Saturday evening Awards Banquet, held this year on June 19, 2010.
Broad Street Clinic
The Broad Street Clinic has been providing free medical and pharmaceutical services to uninsured or underinsured residents of Carteret County since 1993. Patients must be at or above the 200% federal poverty level. Patients also qualify medically by having one of 4 chronic diseases: heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or hypertension. Free medical care is provided to BSC patients by over 40 health care providers. Health care providers volunteer weekly to ensure patient needs are met. Currently the Clinic has over 700 active patients. The Clinic is a member of the NC Association of Free Clinics.
Funds received from the Big Rock are used for general operating expenses and to purchase medicines and supplies that are necessary for BSC patients.
Over 60 volunteer hours per week are logged to ensure patients receive their medications. BSC dispenses over 8000 prescriptions annually.
Heart's Cry Children's Ministry
Panama, Central America, means an Abundance of Fish. Many a fisherman love to visit places such as Piña Bay, where they try their skills at marlin fishing on a whole other level. While Panama is beautiful and full of marine life, there also exists a country with extreme poverty. Panama has one of the greatest disparities of income of any country. Thus there are the have’s and the have not’s, with little in between. There are estimated 50,000 orphans, or Children Deprived of Their Rights, in Panama. Most of these children are not only abused, neglected and/or abandoned, but then the bureaucracy gets in the way so that these children never receive their rights to a family and instead grow up/age out of the orphanage institutions. It is a terrible reality for these precious children.
Heart’s Cry Children’s Ministry (HCCM) was founded to help orphans beginning in Panama, including working to create efficiencies amongst governments and temporary care facilities for the benefit of At-Risk Children. One of the founders worked as an attorney in the United States handling cases of abused and neglected children, and has experience and knowledge working in international adoption law. HCCM has been at work with the government and institutions in Panama, investigating the child welfare system and offering consulting services to the government in order to protect children’s rights. These services include transporting social worker and psychologist teams to perform home visits for the purpose of determining suitable placement for cases of children deprived of their rights, as well as making recommendations to bring their procedures up to international standards. HCCM offers programs at different children’s homes assisting with tutoring services, therapy, coordination of early childhood motivation, donation of school supplies, transportation services for case file investigations, as well as activities for children’s spiritual growth.
Currently, HCCM is in the planning phases of opening a home for children in Panama. We are investigating land options, hoping to begin building by the end of 2010. This home will potentially assist children with Special Needs, as there is not such a home in the entire country. We hope to have our own team of psychologist and social workers, so as to work the children’s case files through the system on our own rather than waiting years for the government to do their job. The end goal is for these children to be adopted at as young of an age as possible. This home will also be a model for other orphanages in Panama.
The funds from this donation will assist HCCM in their continuation of work with the orphans of Panama. We are excited about the continued partnership with the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, especially as our children’s home begins operation. Thank you for partnering with us to help these little one’s. If you would like further information, please contact us at www.heartscrychildren.com or call 919-926-1332.
East Carolina Boy Scouts
The support of the Big Rock tournament benefits young men and women participating in the Scouting programs of the Pamlico Sea Base located adjacent to the Bonner Scout Reservation in Chocowinity, North Carolina.
East Carolina Council serves more than 10,000 young men and women throughout 20 counties in Eastern North Carolina.
Pamlico Sea Base offers young men and women, ages 12 through 20 the opportunity to participate in kayaking programs to the Outer Banks, sailing programs and an Iron Man program including kayaking, hiking and mountain biking in the Croatan National Forest.
From serving 63 Scouts in 1997 the Sea Base has grown to serve over 420 Scouts in 2008. The grant from the Big Rock Foundation will provide for program equipment including kayaks, provide a support chase boat and support the construction of two Big Rock family cabins to support year round programs at the Sea Base.
Through the support of the Big Rock the Pamlico Sea Base will continue to grow its programs and help young people experience the outdoors through kayaking, sailing and hiking Eastern North Carolina.
The History Place
The contributions from the Big Rock Foundation has helped the museum grow and expand. This year’s money is being used to support a new exhibit on the history of the Shackleford ponies that the Tar Heel Junior Historians will research, design, create and build from scratch. The exhibit will open in May of 2010. The Tar Heel Junior Historians club is sponsored by the History Place with the goal of getting students excited and interested in their local history. The students are 4th and 5th graders from Morehead Elementary School at Camp Glenn. Our volunteer educator, Carol Smith, works with the students once a week engaging in learning Carteret County history through projects and tours. Ms. Smith’s group was presented the state award for outstanding Tar Heel Junior Historians of the year.
The Carteret County Historical Society, Inc., DBA the History Place, is located in the heart of downtown Morehead City, and houses the Carteret County Museum, the Jack Spencer Goodwin Research Library, Museum Store, the Les A. Ewen Auditorium/Banquet Room, the “Red Room” (conference room), offices and a tea room. The historical society was created in 1971 with the primary mission to preserve the history of Carteret County through a collection of documents, photos and artifacts. The History Place has Carteret County artifacts dating to the 1700’s and offers programs and special events throughout the year. Admission is free.
The History Place is a 501(c)(3) organization that operates solely on grants, donations, fund-raisers and membership. It receives no state, federal or county funds. If there were no History Place much of the county’s heritage would be lost. The museum is a repository for the antique gowns, war uniforms, honors and medals, letters, books and diaries from the 1700’s. Many precious items from past generations would deteriorate or be thrown away if the History Place did not exist.
Martha's Mission Cupboard
Martha’s Mission brought food with the generous $2,000 donation given to us last year. This food helped us be there for the hungry and needy citizens in Carteret County.
Our motto: We believe it makes a difference when people help and share; That when somebody reaches out, it matters to be there.
Last year was especially hard on the needy of Carteret County and we continue to see new clients each day. Martha’s Mission is serving somewhere between 325 to 375 families each month. We are thankful to the Big Rock Tournament for the financial help taht they provide to support our work.
Hope Mission Christian Ministries is a city mission located in the heart of Morehead City, NC. Hope Mission maintains a Community Kitchen, Homeless Shelter, Emergency Financial Assistance Ministry, as well as managing financially independent Recovery Homes for women and men recovering from the diseases of chronic alcoholism and/or substance use disorders. The Mission is a non-profit organization serving Carteret County and the surrounding region, and has been in ministering in this community for over 15 years. In that time, we have served over 75,000 citizens of this county with one or more needed services.
The oldest ministry is the Community Kitchen (formerly known as the Soup Kitchen), which serves a balanced meal six days a week to over 125 persons and hungry families every day. Next, the Homeless Shelter provides temporary overnight shelter to up to 15 displaced persons every night, 7 nights a week. Then, the Emergency Financial Assistance Ministry sees up to 40 persons and families every Monday and Wednesday at the Mission to determine if we can assist financially with family’s power bills, water bills, prescription medication expenses, or certain other expenses that may threaten to displace families from their homes or put them at extraordinary risk of harm, illness, or homelessness.
The Mission operates entirely on donations from individuals, families, churches, civic groups, and charitable organizations like Big Rock. We could not do nearly the scope or volume of work without the generous grant of funding from groups like Big Rock. Specifically, Big Rock’s funds goes each year to help Hope Mission cover the expenses of the Homeless Shelter, which remains the only homeless shelter in Carteret County. Many nights, especially in winter, the shelter reaches its fire-coded maximum of 15 persons. Hope Mission is eternally grateful for Big Rock Charitable Foundation’s help in these hard and stressful economic times.
Take a Kid Fishing Foundation, Inc.
The Take A Kid Fishing Foundation was established in 1988 by a group of individuals that wanted to give back to hundreds of disadvantaged and disabled children. Their goal was to touch children’s lives, while ensuring the future of fishing. Since its inception, this North Carolina based nonprofit organization has grown from 35 participants to over 10,400 with an average annual cost of $53,000.00.
It has been through the many contributions and the efforts of hundred of volunteers that generously have given of their time, talents and resources that the Take A Kid Fishing Foundation has continued to provide disabled and disadvantaged youth from all across the Carolinas with an opportunity to go saltwater fishing while teaching them about ethical fishing practices, conservation and our ocean environment.
Thanks to you, the Foundation will again provide hundreds of children from area orphanages, children’s homes and state and local agencies this special day, sharing with others what their family and friends once shared with them. This time together will enrich their lives while creating memories and learning skills that will last them a lifetime.
The NC Aquarium at Pint Knoll Shores
The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores welcomes the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, and invites anglers and their families to enjoy the many exhibits and programs.
The Big Rock Tournament shares the Aquarium’s goals of marine education and conservation, and has a special connection with the Aquarium in the Big Rock Theater. When the Aquarium tripled its size during a recent expansion, the tournament sponsored the 175-seat auditorium.
This summer, the Big Rock Theater is the stage for an exciting new educational program featuring North Carolina birds in flight. Pelicans, hawks, owls, falcons and other raptors and water birds soar overhead, responding to cues from Aquarium Educators. The program offers visitors the rare chance to see birds on the wing at close range.
The Aquarium is grateful to the Big Rock for this wonderful facility, in addition to other generous contributions in years past. The Aquarium also sincerely thanks the Big Rock for the continued support of programs and exhibits.
The Aquarium’s mission, shared with the other two state-operated Aquariums at Fort Fisher and on Roanoke Island, is to “inspire appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.” Its theme, “From North Carolina’s Mountains to the Sea,” takes visitors on a journey through five galleries – Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Tidal Waters and Ocean – that depict the state’s aquatic zones.
Big Rock attendees may be especially interested in the Sportfishing in North Carolina gallery, which leverages interest in recreational fishing into opportunities to teach conservation. The Aquarium also conducts short fishing seminars free of charge, plus more comprehensive clinics and classes throughout the year that convey the conservation message along with fishing skills.
The Aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Aquarium is five miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Atlantic Beach, NC 28512.
For more information, 252-247-4003 or see www.ncaquariums.com.
The Newport Developmental Center
The Newport Developmental Center is a multifaceted training and educational program dedicated to helping people with disabilities reach their maximum potential. It also works to promote understanding, acceptance, and care of this population within the community. The Center provides a specialized educational program for children with developmental delays and disabilities from preschool through high school. It also provides high quality early childhood education and care to children from birth to 5 years old, and an adult day health program for severely disabled adults.
The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has supported the mission of the Newport Developmental Center for many years. Funding for NDC’s educational program is only available during the traditional school year. The Big Rock’s support over the years has supported a summer program that helped to insure that children could receive the same service year round. This is especially important to children with disabilities so that gains during the school year aren’t lost during the summer months.
Thank you Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament for your generous support!
NC University Center for Marine Science and Technology
North Carolina State University’s Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST), located in Morehead City, has worked with the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament since 2003 to sample these fishes. In addition to collecting samples for our own research, we also sample these fish for other scientists that work on these species because the opportunity to sample some of these animals is quite rare. The following information and samples are taken from yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and blue marlin: length, weight, sex, a variety of tissues (e.g., muscle, reproductive organs, liver, heart, stomachs, and mucus), and hard parts (e.g., scales, otoliths, and fish spines). To date, we have collected samples for over a dozen marine biologists working along the U.S. Atlantic coast.
The fish captured during the Big Rock Tournament are top predators in the surface waters of the ocean. They have extremely high feeding rates and may have a disproportionately large effect on their prey populations when compared to other predators. Stomach contents are being analyzed by N.C. State University to determine the principal prey of these species. To date, dolphin and yellowfin tuna have the most diverse diets with a variety of fish and invertebrates incluing flyingfish, filefish, and squid. However, blue marlin and wahoo appear to be very selective, feeding mainly on frigate mackerel.
Besides the thrill they bring to captains, crew, and the Big Rock audience at the weigh station, fish caught during the Big Rock continue to help shed light on the biology of these highly migratory fishes.
Jeffrey A. Buckel is an Associate Professor and Paul J. Rudershausen is a Research Associate with North Carolina State University. Both work out of N.C. State’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City, NC.
Carobell's Station Club Enterprises
Station Club Enterprise, a division of Carobell, Inc. located at 306 Church Street in Morehead City is a community based, private, non-profit pre-vocational training program providing various vocational training, social and wellness opportunities to adult individuals in Carteret County with developmental challenges.
With proper training and guidance, the individuals receiving services here are able to achieve individual empowerment, which provides them with a greater sense of accomplishment while building up their sense of worth and self respect.
As we strive to meet the ever growing needs of our consumers, coupled with the tough financial times we are all facing, Carobell/Station Club is now more than ever, appreciative of the Big Rock Charities. With their generous donation in July 2009, Station Club was able to purchase many items to assist our consumers in reaching their daily goals such as, computer learning software, wood and supplies for consumer holiday projects, and plants and seeds for our Horticulture program just to name a few.
To programs like ours dedicated to helping others, it is a very welcome thought to know that there are organizations such as The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament Charities not only willing but looking forward to helping us.
NC Symphony Carteret County Chapter
With the support of the Big Roc, the North Carolina Symphony performed an education concert with the full-orchestra on October 29, 2009 at East Carteret High School for 1,025 elementary students from Carteret County. The hour-long interactive program exposed students to diverse composers from around the world and introduced them to the six fundamentals of music: melody, rhythm, texture, tempo, dynamics, and form. The concert was an exciting learning experience designed specifically for students ages 8-11. As with all of the Symphony’s education concerts, the performance was offered at no cost to the students, allowing the orchestra to reach children of all socio-economic backgrounds.
The Big Rock’s investment in the Symphony will go even further this year thanks to a challenge grant from the State of North Carolina. For every $8,000 the Symphony raises by June 30, 2010, the State will match it with $2,000 in new support, with a cap of $1.5 million.
Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony is a full-time professional orchestra comprised of 69 musicians who perform nearly 175 concerts annually across the state. The Symphony’s mission is to present an orchestra of the highest artistic standard that enriches, entertains, and educates diverse audiences in a variety of settings and represents North Carolina as a leader in performance and music education. In addition to the Symphony’s signature full-orchestra education concerts, it offers numerous educational programs each season for both adults and young people.