A quilt, created by a Matlacha Hooker from all the 14 group's fishing tournaments and derby T-shirts, will be raffled off to benefit Pine Island Elementary School.
Melva Wilzbach said over the years she has created some T-shirt quilts for her grandchildren for fun, which turned into more at the beginning of the year. After working at the Matlacha Hookers' booth at the Matlacha Mariner's Mullet Toss event, it hit her that she should make a quilt out of the Hookers' annual Pine Island Fishing Tournament and Derby T-shirts.
"It became a joint effort for all the Hookers," Wilzbach said, because the quilt contained all 14 T-shirts, as well as a Hurricane Charley shirt for the year the tournament was not held. "This year we decided to get all the years together."
Melva Wilzbach created a quilt, which will be raffled off with the proceeds going to Pine Island Elementary School that incorporates all 14 of the Matlacha Hookers Fishing Tournament t-shirts.
The collection also includes a T-shirt donated by the family of late Marianne Paton, Pine Island Eagle editor and Hooker.
"It was the year she was the vice president," Wilzbach said, adding that the shirt says Marianne VP.
The project was fun for Wilzbach because she just recently became a member of the Matlacha Hookers in 2010. She said there was a story behind every T-shirt, which was fun to learn about.
"I hadn't been here, so it was an education to me, as well as to what has happened all these years," Wilzbach said. "They were fun to learn."
In addition to learning about the history of the tournament and stories that went along with each annual event, she said she also enjoyed finding material that would pull all the different colors of the T-shirts over the years together.
"My husband was the one who found the material," she said, which she also enjoyed because he showed he had an interest in her project. "It has bright and interesting colors."
In April, she said she had completed about three fourths of the quilt due to the Hookers waiting to receive the 14th annual design.
"It's been an effort for the better part of the year," she said.
All the material that was used for the quilt, she said, was entirely donated, so 100 percent of the money that is collected through the raffle will be donated to the elementary school.
"There is no cost on it," Wilzbach said.
She said she received very good feedback from the Hookers when the project was completed.
"The Hookers made me feel good that they were so happy about it," Wilzbach said. "I only do these things for my family and my own enjoyment. Now I am retired and have the time to do this."
The quilt is currently at Pine Island Elementary School and will be on display at the captain's meeting on Oct. 13 and at the tournament on Oct. 14 at the Olde Fish House.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at Pine Island Elementary School for the quilt or at the Olde Fish House Marina on Saturday, Oct. 13, or Sunday, Oct. 14.
Tickets are $1 each, six for $5, arms-length for $10 and body length for $20.
"The winner does not need to be present at the drawing on the day of the tournament," Madam of the Matlacha Hookers DJ Ruscik said.
Wilzbach said it will be fun to see how much the Hookers can raise for Pine Island Elementary School off this one item.
The tournament, which will benefit Pine Island Elementary School, will be held at the Olde Fish House Marina on Oct. 14. The cost is $30 to sponsor a Pine Island Elementary School child and $35 for a non-Pine Island Elementary School student.
The children's groups include the Sharks (4th and 5th grade students) from 8- 9:30 a.m., Pinfish (2nd and 3rd grade students) from 9:45-11:15 a.m. and Shrimp (kindergartners and 1st grade students) from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
A fishing tournament for the parents will also be held, which begins at 7 a.m. and promptly ends at 2 p.m., on the docks. Registration is $50 per person with a maximum of four anglers per boat.