Charity applications for 2020 are closed.

Download 2021 Charity Application

Upload 2021 Charity Application

The charity application deadline is Friday, August 6, 2021.


The Big Rock Board of Directors and its Charity Committee have committed to a core group of charities in the community to receive consistent funding from the 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. These donations are funded by the success of the tournament, our sponsors and retail sales.

In 2019 the Big Rock Board was able to contribute $84,000 to their annual core donations and heavily supported Carteret County schools in various needs totaling $125,200. Substantial larger impact donations included $150,000 to the Town of Morehead City for the reconstruction of Shevans Park and $200,000 to Carteret Community College for its Career Center.

Last year the Keli Wagner Big Rock Lady Angler Tournament (KWLA) was sponsored by ALEXSEAL YACHT COATINGS and held on Saturday, June 8, 2019. A whopping tournament record of 167 boats participated and the Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament donated $25,000 to the local Carteret Healthcare Clinic. Donations to the clinic since 2005, total $328,916. Overall, the KWLA tournament has donated a total of $374,416 since it began in 1998. Way to go ladies!

The Big Rock and KWLA tournaments are very proud of their past contributions now over six million dollars totaling $ 6,009,721 after the 2019 tournament year. The Big Rock Charity Committee consists of Tom Bennett, Chairman, Dale Britt, Richard Crowe, Curtis Strange, and Caroline Petrilli.

Big Rock Core Charities

Total amount donated since 1986: $138,500

For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been providing character education and citizenship training to America’s young men in a setting that encourages them to take charge. The leadership training that local youth get in Scouting is unmatched, as is the support from local communities. The support that the East Carolina Council gets from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament has played a vital part in ensuring that the movement continues to improve the lives of all its Scouts and their families.

East Carolina Council serves more than 10,000 youth and more than 2,900 volunteer adult leaders in 20 eastern NC counties, including the world renowned Crystal Coast. Scouts participate in unique learning experiences that help them develop their appreciation, skills and leadership abilities for good stewardship of our land and water resources.

East Carolina Council provides facilities and programs for use by Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews and interested public groups can take part in interactive, hands-on learning that will develop our future leaders at several locations. The East Carolina Scout Reservation, our main camping area, encompasses Camp Boddie, the Pamlico Sea Base and the PotashCorp ECO Lodge in Blount’s Creek, on the Pamlico River east of Chocowinity. Toward the coast, there is Camp Sam Hatcher in Newport and to the west, in Bailey, is Camp Charles. Programs at these camps are sure to provide a fun, engaging outdoor experience that is sure to enrich the lives of the visitors and their families.

Total amount donated since 1986: $95,100

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 limited dental clinic. 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 of four pharmacists to ensure patients receive their medications. 22,000 prescriptions were dispensed from the BSC pharmacy with a value of $3 million during 2017.

Total amount donated since 1986: $102,000

The Carteret County Historical Society’s “History Place” is a 501c3 nonprofit whose educational mission is to preserve and interpret the human history of the county from early Native American times through 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 these activities in a variety of ways.

Our Les A. Ewen Auditorium lays at 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 local history programs within its walls. The $5,000 contribution has been added to another $3,000 from the Town of Morehead City and some money in our capital budget, and applied this year to two capital projects including the refinishing of our auditorium’s floor ($6,500) and the replacement of old windows on the side of our building that faces 10th Street ($2,400) – this is the Infusion Cafe’s portion of our operation. We put in new thermal pane windows and did a far better job of insulating the surroundings than was first done back in 2001.

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 for the Big Rock Tournament’s grant in support of our work.

Total amount donated since 1986: $60,500

We at Martha’s Mission are especially thankful to the Big Rock for the donations we receive each year. This year your money was spent on our operation. We had new clients and we have been seeing more people. Your wonderful donation is what keeps us going, especially, during the first part of the year when we are trying to restock our food.

Martha’s Mission is an emergency Food Bank, all made possible by donations and volunteers. We provide food to an average of 300 and 350 families every month. Families in need of food are screened and referred to us by State or Federal social service agencies in Carteret County.

The amount of food given to each family depends on the number of people in the family. Martha’s Mission Cupboard is solely run by volunteers, established to provide the needy citizens of Carteret County a temporary supply of nutritious and balanced food at no cost. Our goal is to tide them over during a temporary financial crisis or while they are awaiting permanent assistance from the State or Federal Government.

Total amount donated since 1986: $112,500

Thirty-two years ago Bob Hodges began inspiring others to join with 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 a gift such as this 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. Solely supported through grants and donations, the Foundation, its many donors and volunteers have worked to enrich the lives of over 16,000 children through an opportunity to go saltwater fishing. Baiting hooks and casting lines they shared in their knowledge of fishing. 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 a heartfelt day for the volunteers and contributors that give each year of their resources, talent and time. They have shared their experiences creating memories that last a lifetime.

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

Total amount donated since 1986: $143,000

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 from the tournament. In addition to collecting samples for our research, we also sample these fish for other scientists that work on these species. 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 including flyingfish, filefish, and squid. However, blue marlin and wahoo appear to be very selective, feeding mainly on frigate mackerel.

Total amount donated since 1986: $79,100

Hope Mission Christian Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the heart of Morehead City, NC to serve Carteret County and surrounding areas. With the generous support of Big Rock, Hope Mission of Carteret County, Inc. is in its 30th year of ministering to our community.

Hope Mission is all about “serving others with many hands and one heart” as we offer help and HOPE to those in need. The Community Kitchen serves balanced meals seven days/week. Thanks to ongoing support from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, Hope Mission was able to provide an additional 900 meals bringing our total for 2019 to 38,098 meals served. With the partnership of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament, we are helping people move from a state of hopelessness to hope and we continue to help people move out of poverty to become self-sufficient, contributing, successful members of society. We look forward to your continued support because with you we can “Serve others with many hands and one heart”.

Hope Mission operates entirely on contributions from individuals, families, churches, civic groups, and charitable organizations. The generous support of Big Rock is so greatly appreciated in these challenging economic times!

If you would like further information please contact the Executive Director of Hope Mission, Pastor Gene McLendon at 252-515-4361 or gene@hmcm.org, or check out our web site at www.hmcm.org.

Total amount donated since 1986: $85,000

The Big Rock Foundation has been helping Carobell, Inc’s Station Club Enterprise expand its possibilities for more than 25 years. Located in Morehead City, Station Club Enterprise is a private, non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization serving adults with cognitive impairments and developmental disabilities.

Funds received through these generous donations provided by the Big Rock Foundation have afforded Carobell/Station Club the possibility to expand our capabilities to provide our members with choices of tasks/activity opportunities and to reach out with new ideas and concepts. This truly fulfills our mission, which is to provide self-directed support for members with intellectual developmental disabilities, empowering them to reach their fullest potential.
Past donations have enabled Station Club to purchase many needed items for our members such as iPads, a laptop computer, and accessories to assist them in developing technology skills and increasing problem-solving skills.

All of Carobell/Station Club staff and members alike are extremely appreciative of this continual community support. A big thank you goes to our steadfast community friends, Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

Total amount donated since 1986: $105,000

Founded in 1932, the mission of the North Carolina Symphony is to be the North Carolina state orchestra, achieving the highest level of artistic quality and performance standards, and embracing its dual legacies of statewide service and music education. Each year, the North Carolina Symphony’s 300 concerts, education programs, and community engagement events are enjoyed by adults and schoolchildren in more than 90 North Carolina counties.

The Symphony dedicates more resources to statewide music education than any other professional orchestra in the U.S., demonstrating a deep commitment to making music education widely accessible throughout the state. This extensive program serves more than 70,000 students of all ages each year, many of whom live in rural and under-resourced areas with limited access to the arts. We also provide training and resources for teachers in alignment with the curriculum set by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Music education has been a pillar of our mission for more than seven decades, and we are proud to build the next generation of musicians and music lovers.

For over 20 years, The Big Rock Foundation has supported our music education programs, enabling over 10,000 Carteret County 4th grade students from public, private, charter, and home schools to see the North Carolina Symphony at no charge to the students or their families. This concert is often the first time the students have heard a live orchestra, an experience many of them would not have otherwise. The Symphony removes obstacles by bringing the music to the students and by making classical music educational, accessible, and fun. For many, this experience is life-changing and becomes a cherished childhood memory.

We are grateful to The Big Rock Foundation for its dedication to the importance of the arts in the lives of young people.

Total KWLA charity donated since 2005: $328,916

After opening the new comprehensive multidisciplinary community Cancer Center in 2015, Carteret Health Care (CHC) continues to enhance the oncology services offered in the region. Exciting new phases of growth include offering a specialized Breast Nurse Navigator and adding new technology for radiation patients as well as breast cancer patients to aid in their healing and fight of cancer. These combined with Carteret’s new clinical collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Care Network means our oncologists can work directly with Mayo Clinic’s top specialists at any time so patients can confidently choose the best path for getting well and staying well.

Through the generous support of the KWLA, the journey for cancer patients is made lighter. Patients have appreciated the silencing earphones during their chemotherapy treatments, relaxed during complimentary massage therapy, escaped into the beautiful artwork that decorates the Cancer Center walls. Caregivers can recharge in the meditation garden while getting fresh air and sunshine. Additionally, over 2,000 patients and caregivers have enjoyed creating their art in painting and pottery classes. The Lady Anglers through the Big Rock’s Kelli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament truly make a difference by providing those comfort items and enriching the cancer journey for patients and families.

The kindness that the KWLA shows to cancer patients is hard\nto measure. When a patient is first diagnosed, it is hard to comprehend all of the details and changes that are coming at them. Nurse Navigators guide them during this time by providing support and answering questions as well as providing necessary items provided by the KWLA funds to get them started in this journey. Simple things such as calendars to record their symptoms, their many appointments and note recording reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed.


Mission Statement

  1. To promote sportfishing throughout Carteret County and the state of North Carolina.
  2. To promote Conservation among Sportfishermen.
  3. To raise money for Charities and Worthy Community Projects.
  4. To preserve Maritime Culture and Heritage.
  5. To promote Marine Education.

Download 2021 Charity Application

The charity application deadline is Friday, August 6, 2021.