Donations Total $3,337,836 Since 1988

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.  





Donations Total $3,337,836

The Big Rock Board of Directors and its Charity Committee have focused on a core group of charities for the majority of the charitable proceeds from each tournament.  The entire process is driven by the fit between Big Rock’s five-point mission statement and the destination of the charitable funds.  In addition to these yearly donations, the board also reviews new larger impact community projects. 

In 2014 the Big Rock board was able to contribute to their annual core donations but also fund additional needs within these core charities and beyond. The History Place received an additional $20,000 for new HVAC needs and East Carteret High School received $32,000 for new band uniforms. These and other donations to our community are the basis of what Big Rock tournament stands for. Early 2015, The North Carolina Aquariums received  $100,000 to fund a series of fishing programs at all four NC Aquarium locations.

Last year the Keli Wagner Big Rock Lady Angler Tournament (KWLA) was sponsored by ALEXSEAL YACHT COATINGS and held on Saturday June 7, 2014. A tournament record of  81 boats participated and the Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament was able to donate $23,250 to the RAAB Oncology Clinic. Donations to the clinic since 2005, total over $203,916. Overall, the ladies tournament has donated a total of $249,315 since it began in 1998.

The tournament is very proud of its past contributions totaling $3,337,836 after the 2014 tournament. This year’s Tournament Charity Committee consists of Tom Bennett, chairman, Dale Britt, Ben Moore, Richard Crowe and Randy Ramsey.

Broad Street Clinic
The Broad Street Clinic has been providing free medical and pharmaceutical services to uninsured and underinsured residents of Carteret County and surrounding areas since 1993. Patients must be at or below the 200% federal poverty level. Patients also must qualify medically by having one of 5 chronic diseases: heart disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and hypertension or thyroid disease. 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 900 active patients. The Clinic continues to offer our regular medical clinic, eye clinic, gynecological clinic and mental health clinic. In addition to the dental bus, a dental clinic with limited services will be opening in 2015. The Clinic is a member of the National Association of Free Clinics and 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 necessary for BSC patients. It takes 70 volunteer hours each week with the supervision from four pharmacists to ensure patients receive their medications. 22,000 prescriptions were dispensed from the BSC pharmacy with a value of $3.1 million during 2014.       

The History Place

The Carteret County Historical Society’s “History Place” is a 501c3 nonprofit whose educational mission it is to preserve and interpret the human history of the county from early Native American times through to the present. We accomplish this by offering various history products to the general public, including in school programs, publications, exhibits, a family genealogical library and presentations by various speakers and groups. We fund this activity in a variety of ways.

Our Les A. Ewen Auditorium lays the heart of our income producing assets. Year round, we rent this hall to various groups, wedding parties, musical performers, governmental agencies and others. We also present our own local history programs within its walls. This past summer and even now, Big Rock Tournament funds are being applied towards the renovation of this important community asset. The acquisition of a portable stage, refurnished flooring, painting of the walls, upgrades in the sound and light systems and other improvements are making this a “button ready” facility that can better accommodate different uses and needs.

We have also created a new temporary exhibit “We Went to Viewe the Lande Adjoyning…” which is a historical/artistic immersion into our coastline’s first European exploration in 1585. A portion of the foundation’s grant was applied to the creation of this exhibit as well.

The Society operates on roughly $110,000 per year – averaging 15-20,000 visitors per year. It is supported through grants, donations, fund-raisers and membership. Many consider what we hold as the “living memory” of the county. We are very thankful of the Big Rock Tournament’s grant in support of our work.

Martha’s Mission Cupboard
We at Martha’s Mission are especially thankful to the Big Rock Charities for the donation they gave us in 2014. We bought a new refrigerator and Freezer for the Mission. These are our first new appliances and they are great. We can keep all our food fresh or frozen to last longer and have more to give our clients. Martha’s Mission is an emergency Food Bank, all made possible by donations and volunteers. In 2014 we gave food to 8,332 people in Carteret County.

Take a Kid Fishing Foundation, Inc.
Twenty seven years ago Bob Hodges began inspiring others to join him in sharing the joys of fishing. He believed that fishing was a skill that was not learned, but something that should be shared,passed on from generation to generation by those that loved the sport. A child from humble beginnings, Bob knew firsthand what this gift would mean to thousands of disabled and disadvantaged youth from all across North Carolina.

It was through his work that the North Carolina based nonprofit“Take A Kid Fishing Foundation, Inc.” was born. Supported solely by donations, the Foundation, its many donors and volunteers have worked to enrich the lives of over 13,875 children through an opportunity to go saltwater fishing. Baiting hooks and casting lines, they shared in their knowledge of fishing. They have taught the importance of utilizing ethical angling practices and encouraged our youth to become good stewards of our ocean environment.

It has been a rewarding experience for participants, many of which have never seen the ocean or felt the tug of a line. And it is a heartfelt day for the volunteers and contributors that give each year of their resources, talent and time. They have shared their experiences together creating memories that last a lifetime.

Thank you for believing in “Charity First”. It is through your continued participation and support
that many deserving organization like the Take A Kid Fishing Foundation, Inc., continue to exists. To learn more about the TAKF Foundation Inc., make a donation or to volunteer visit our website at

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.

Hope Mission
Hope Mission Christian Ministries (HMCM) is located in the heart of Morehead City, NC and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the less fortunate citizens of Carteret County and the surrounding area for the past 20 years.  It is supported by the community and is funded by donations from Community Organizations, Civic Groups, Churches, and individuals.

HMCM serves the community in many ways: The Community Kitchen Ministry operates six days/week and in 2012 provided 30,079 free hot lunches to hungry individuals and families, an average of 103 meals/day.  Often, the volunteers who help serve the meals are in need of a hot meal themselves; The Emergency Financial Assistance Ministry provides payment of bills which threaten to leave persons without electricity, heating fuel, rent, and other essentials.  Last year, 237 clients received aid to avoid the risk of harm, illness, or homelessness. The Men’s Shelter for the Homeless (at the Mission building) provides temporary overnight shelter for up to 15 displaced men (average 10/day), and is open 7 nights per week.  Persons in the shelter are required to remain drug and alcohol free and take all necessary steps to return to independent living.

All funds contributed by Big Rock are designated to cover the expenses of the Men’s Shelter for the Homeless which remains the only homeless shelter for men in Carteret County.  Many nights, especially during extreme weather conditions, the shelter reaches its fire-coded maximum of 15 persons.  Without generous contributions by charitable organizations like Big Rock, we could not meet the needs of so many of our fellow citizens affected by these trying economic times.  Big Rock funding is invaluable and so greatly appreciated!

For more information, please contact the Executive Director of HMCM, Gene McLendon at 252-515-4361 or, or check out our web site

Carobell’s Station Club Enterprise
Big Rock Charities has been helping Carobell’s Station Club Enterprise expand our possibilities for more than 25 years. Located in Morehead City, Station Club is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  When our clients arrive each day, they go right to work receiving pre-vocational training in various fields such as making Candy Bouquets, building outdoor furniture in our wood shop, studying horticulture out back in the greenhouse, or making greeting cards, just to name a few of the activities.  We are constantly expanding our abilities to provide the people we serve with choices by developing new ideas and concepts.  And best of all, they are earning while learning. The funds received through the generous donation provided by Big Rock Charities will give Station Club the opportunity to expand our abilities to provide the people we serve with choices of work opportunities and to reach out with new ideas and concepts. This truly fulfills our Mission, which is to help individuals reach their fullest potential. Every day is a good day at Station Club. We work hard, we socialize with our peers and at day’s end we feel good about what we have accomplished.  


Previous year’s donation from Big Rock have gone toward working on the purchase of a full-size van that will allow staff and clients to deliver the newly made wooden benches and picnic tables that have been ordered by community parks, businesses and individuals.

This year the funds went toward the purchase of several Apple I-Pads, apps and holders to be used by the individuals in service to help expand their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, money denomination recognition and problem solving skills. We so appreciate the help we receive from Big Rock Charities and want everyone to know that you truly are a partner with Station Club and its mission. 

Additional 2014 Charity Recipients:

East Carteret High School

The Opportunity School

Carteret Literacy Council

Carteret Preschool Center

The Foundation for Shackelford Horses

NC Aquarium

Down East Boy Scouts