‘Total disbelief’

‘Total disbelief’

Veteran from the Cape wins boat raffle

Published in Cape Coral Daily Breeze May 29, 2015 issue

Frank DePace

Veteran Frank DePace won the 2015 Wounded Warrior Anglers boat raffle. 

A charitable drawing likely sent a Cape Coral resident reeling as his name was drawn from 4,000 raffle tickets at the Olde Fish House Marina Saturday, making him the winner of the 2015 Wounded Warrior Anglers boat raffle.

The reality of his win hit home Wednesday morning as he signed the papers for his very first boat at Fort Myers Marina.

“Every day I’m coming back down to earth,” Frank DePace said. “It’s just unbelievable.”

He won a 2015 NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay with 150 horsepower four stroke and magic tilt trailer.

Fort Myers Marine General Manager Colinda Helveston sits with Cape Coral resident and veteran Frank DePace on his brand new boat. Also pictured: Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and President Dave Souders, Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Vice President Judy Souders and Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Treasurer Tate Hutchinson.

Fort Myers Marine General Manager Colinda Helveston sits with Cape Coral resident and veteran Frank DePace in his brand new boat. Also pictured: Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and President Dave Souders, Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Vice President Judy Souders and Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Treasurer Tate Hutchinson.

Tate Hutchinson, Wounded Warrior Anglers co-founder and treasurer, said he could not think of a better person to have won the boat. He said he thinks a lot of people were in tears the night the name was drawn for the boat raffle.

“It was awesome to see a fellow soldier that was there to win it . . . it was pretty awesome and fantastic,” Hutchinson said.

DePace joined the Army in 1966 and served until 1981. He said since he was going to be drafted anyway, he elected to be enlisted giving him the choice of which branch of military to join.

“It was an experience of a lifetime. One that I will never forget,” DePace said.

He and his wife, Marsha, moved to Cape Coral on May 1, 2014 from Connecticut. He heard about the Wounded Warrior Angler organization after meeting President Dave Souders and Capt. Jim Conant at Pineland Marina

“They invited me to come to attend one of their meetings. I did and have been there ever since,” DePace said, who is now a member of the organization. “Being a veteran myself – I fought in Vietnam – it’s an organization that there is a lot of camaraderie and a lot of the individuals know how you feel and we care about each other. It’s a great organization.”

As a way to contribute to the organization, he purchased six boat raffle tickets never thinking he was going to win. When his name was called Saturday evening during the 3rd annual Redfish Shootout in memory of Spec. Michael Plath, he was in “total disbelief.”

Hutchinson, who takes his 10-day yearly vacation around the tournament’s schedule, said the boat raffle is the center point of the organization’s fundraising efforts throughout the year. He said the proceeds from the boat raffle allow the organization to hold the Warrior and Caregiver Retreats, as well as helps pay for a boat to raffle off the following year.

In addition, Hutchinson said the boat is also “wrapped,” portraying the military and all the branches of service, which excites people that were in the military and still are in the military.

DePace said Fort Myers Marine hopes to have his boat ready next Wednesday. He hopes to put the boat in the water that day or Thursday.

Fort Myers Marine General Manager Colinda Helveston sits with Cape Coral resident and veteran Frank DePace on his brand new boat. Also pictured: Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and President Dave Souders and Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Treasurer Tate Hutchinson.

Fort Myers Marine General Manager Colinda Helveston sits with Cape Coral resident and veteran Frank DePace in his brand new boat. Also pictured: Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and President Dave Souders and Wounded Warrior Anglers Co-Founder and Treasurer Tate Hutchinson.

A pure fishing boat

It’s that time of year again . . .  the organization Wounded Warrior Anglers is raffling another boat, which will support America’s disabled veterans.

This year the 2015 NauticStar 2110 Sport, said to be a pure fishing boat, has a price tag of $55,350,000.

There are 4,000 raffle tickets available this year, 1,000  more than previous years.

“We would not be able to do this without it being deeply discounted by manufacturers and key sponsorships to our organization,” WWA President David Souders said of the raffle boat.

Those sponsors include Fort Myers Marine, NauticStar Boats, Magic Tilt Trailers, Infinite Ideas, Olde Fish House Marina, Center Bait & Tackle and Just Right Realty – Mike Carroll.

The NauticStar 21′ boat has a 150 HP Yamaha; a magic tilt tandem axle aluminum with custom aluminum wheel trailer; custom patriotic boat wrap by Infinite Ideas; power pole 8′ Sportsman II Black with Jack Plate Adaptor; trolling motor – Minn-Kota RT70 – 70 pounds thrust 24v; Jack Plate – Atlas 6″ hydraulic and a Fishfinder GPS – Raymarine Dragonfly7 with CHIRP DownVision technology.

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“This fishing machine has been fully equipped and designed by the warriors of Wounded Warrior Anglers to be exactly what you need to fish the inshore and coastal waters of the United States and enjoy your day of fishing,” Souders said.

Raffle tickets are $20 for one or six for $100. They can be purchased at the locations listed below, from the organizations website at www.woundedwarrioranglers.org, or by calling Vice President Judy Souders at (423) 620-9104.

  • Fort Myers Marine, 2137 Fowler St., Fort Myers, FL;
  • Olde Fish House Marina, 4530 Pine Island Rd., NW, Matlacha, FL;
  • Center Bait & Tackle, 10707 Stringfellow Rd., Bokeelia, FL;
  • Rob’s Bait & Tackle, 3714 Del Prado  Blvd., Cape Coral, FL;
  • Pineland Marina, 13921 Waterfront Dr., Bokeelia, FL;
  • Beef O’ Brady’s, 3015 Pine Island Rd. and 2481 Del Prado Blvd. N. both in Cape Coral, FL;
  • Miceli’s Restuarant, 3930 Pine Island Rd., Matlacha, FL
  • Bayou Adventure, 27725 Main St., Lacombe, LA

The organization will provide updates of where the boat will be on display during select local events on its website http://www.woundedwarrioranglers.org. The boat will also be on display Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ft. Myers Marine.

The winner of the boat raffle does not need to be present to win on Saturday, May 23. They are responsible for the tag, title and registration, delivery and dealer prep and all applicable taxes.


Other specifics of the boat are listed below with the key items in bold:

Construction:

  • Wood Free Construction
  • Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty
  • Self-Bailing Cock Pit with Molded Non Skid
  • Anchor Locker with Anchor
  • RTM Fiberglass Lids
  • Teleflex BayStar Pro Hydraulic Steering
  • Teleflex Extreme Control Cables
  • Molded Anchor Storage with Anchor
  • Insulated Fish Box
  • Front and Rear Baitwell
  • Large Front Dry Storage Box
  • Rod Box

Hardware:

  • Stainless Steel Locks
  • Stainless Steel Rub Rail Insert
  • 6 Rod Holders in the Console
  • Stainless Steel Cleats
  • 2 Gunnel Rod Holders
  • Brass Splashwell Drains

Console:

  • Stainless Steel Grab Rail on Console
  • Drink Holders
  • Windshield
  • Horn with Stainless Steel Grill
  • 2 Rear Jump Seats

Marine Grade Electrical System:

  • Deutsche Electrical Connectors
  • Speedo, Tachometer, Fuel and Volt Gauge
  • Auto Bilge Pump
  • 2 Aerator Pumps 800 GPH
  • Circuit Breaker Protection

Optional Features:

  • Power Pole 8′ Sportsman II Black with Jack Plate Adapter
  • Minn-Kota RT70 – 70lbs Thrust 24v Hand Control
  • Atlas 6” Jack Plate, Hydraulic
  • Raymarine Dragonfly7 w/ CHIRP DownVision technology
  • Deluxe Leaning Post with Made on Backrest w Performance Cooler
  • Dual Pro Charger PRO2
  • Dual Battery Switch
  • (2) Additional Gunnel Rod Holders with Caps
  • Magic Tilt Tandem Axle Aluminum Trailer
  • Custom Aluminum Wheels

The first boat raffle was an 18-foot NauticStar, 1810 Nautic Bay boat. Last year’s winner of the boat raffle received a 21-foot NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay.

The proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will help the organization continue its mission to “help rehabilitate the mind, body and soul of all service members who have been injured, wounded or disabled in the line of duty no matter what their era of service.”

The organization helps its warriors by taking them out on the water for a day of fishing. This outing helps promote a friendly and peaceful environment to help warriors heal.

Wounded Warrior Anglers also help the warrior’s caregivers by treating them to a day of relaxation at the spa.

“Changing Lives One Warrior at a Time!”

Win a boat while helping WWA

The Wounded Warrior Anglers of America, Inc. are raffling another boat, courtesy of Fort Myers Marine Owner Chuck Calkins, this year to raise funds for their nonprofit organization.

2014 NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay with 115hp Yamaha four-stroke & trailer

2014 NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay with 115hp Yamaha four-stroke & trailer

The 21-foot boat is a 2014, NauticStar 2110 Sport Bay with a 115 horse power Yamaha F115 with a 92-inch beam. It also has a magic tilt trailer and such added features as stainless steel props, 7×7 bow seat base, swim platform with a ladder, single battery switch and two gunnel rod holders.

The boat, motor and trailer packages is valued at approximately  $39,627.

Individuals can view the Sport Bay NauticStar and purchase raffle tickets during the Fort Myers Boat Show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thu., Nov. 14, Fri., Nov. 15, Sat., Nov. 16 and Sun., Nov. 17 at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe St., Fort Myers. The boat will be located in the Fort Myers Marine tent and wounded warriors will be volunteering and talking to people during the show.

Three thousand tickets were printed for the raffle, which are $20 a piece or six for $100. The raffle tickets can be purchased online at www.woundedwarrioranglers.org or by calling Judy Souders, vice president of Wounded Warrior Anglers, at 423-620-9104.

The winner of the boat raffle will be announced no later than May 26, 2014 at the Olde Fish House Marina, 4350 Pine Island Rd., Matlacha, Florida. The winner need not be present to win. The winner is responsible for the tag, title, delivery, dealer prep, registration and all applicable taxes.

“This is our largest fundraiser that pairs with the tournament on Memorial Day weekend,” Souders said of the Original Redfish Poker Fishing Championship. “This is how we raise funds to provide the Wounded Warrior and Caregiver Retreat for warriors, caregivers, spouses and children.”

The organization holds four large retreats for wounded warriors and their caregivers each year. Wounded Warrior Anglers helps its warriors by taking them out on the water for a day of fishing, which promotes a friendly and peaceful environment to help warriors heal. They also help the warrior’s caregivers by treating them to a day of relaxation at Spa 33 in Matlacha.

Purchase a raffle ticket and help support this organization that is doing so much for our warriors and caregivers.

Last year, the 5013c organization raffled off an 18-foot NauticStar, 1810 Nautic Bay boat.

Check out the other blogs I have written about the organization: https://meghan80.wordpress.com/wounded-warrior-anglers-of-america-inc/