May 9, 2007
Boat Raffle Winners!!!
One Ticket Wins It!
A single $5.00 ticket won the first prize for the Rivers Coalition $50,000 Boat Raffle! Three fifth grade students from Felix Williams Elementary School, Chris Justice, Jake Stewart and Annie Majette, came to Lindsay Marine to have the honor of pulling the winning entries, blindfolded, in front of a good size crowd that gathered to learn if they were among the lucky winners.
First prize winner, Henry Westcarth of Belle Glade took home the Hewes 16′ Redfisher flats boat that included a 90hp Yamaha, an E-Z Loader trailer, Power-pole, Minn-kota trolling motor, HumminBird GPS/sonar and Quantum poles and reels courtesy of Snook Nook. Henry has been driving in to Stuart from Belle Glade, and as he put it, “Been fishing the ten cent bridge (Evans Crary) and the 25 cent bridge (Ernie Lyons) for forty years now. Gotta fish the bridge when you don’t have a boat, he said.”
Henry couldn’t recall when he bought his winning ticket but he knew it was at the Snook Nook where the boat had been parked to sell tickets. His fishing buddy, Walter remembered and said. ” I talked him into buying just one. Come on Henry, I said, just one for the river. I can’t believe his ticket won!”
Henry was already back from fishing the Roosevelt bridge that day, when the winning call from Leon Abood, Chairman of the Rivers Coalition, was answered by Henry’s wife Lena. Henry said “I felt really good about winning but I had to be sure.” When he came in to Lindsay Marine two days later, he was sure. After seeing the tricked out red-hulled Hewes, both he and his buddy said “We’re gonna try out some new spots now!”
Second prize of the Ocean Prowler 13′ kayak was the catch of the day for Reverend Jim Nimmo of Port St. Lucie. And Joe Rosetti, of Delmar, NY and Jensen Beach, FL planned ahead by providing his NY phone number as the winner of their third prize, a pair of Crowder Rods & Penn reels. Joe said he bought several tickets, several times over the winter months and was really sure he was going to win the boat. He pulled his tickets out and put them on his fridge on the morning of May 1st. His wife got tired of hearing about it so she arranged a cousin to call as a joke that morning saying he had won second prize.
Joe said ” He was really good at it, very professional. I thought it was really happening!” Apparently, by the time the actual call came through in the afternoon, Joe’s wife had already confessed. Needless to day, Joe’s wife was shocked to learn that her husband really was a winner for third prize!
The Rivers Coalition Boat Raffle started the same day it’s lawsuit was filed in federal court in late 2006. The organization raised over $62,000 from the sale of tickets locally and with Online purchases at its website from concerned citizens as far away as Hawaii. Donations are still being sought to “Save Our River and Stop the Discharges” from Lake Okeechobee. For more information visit www.RiversCoalition.org or call 772-225-6849.