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Disabled veteran wins Wounded Warrior Anglers boat raffle

June 12, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

A Fort Myers resident won the 18-foot Nautic Star, 1810 Nautic Bay boat during the Wounded Warrior Anglers tournament last month.

Russell Seitz, a disabled veteran who served in the Army from 1967-1970, said he has never won anything before.

"I was shocked," he said about the phone call he received from Wounded Warrior Anglers co-founder Judy Souders sharing the news of winning the boat. "I have never won nothing."

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Seitz purchased five boat raffle tickets after his brother-in-law told him about Wounded Warrior Anglers. Soon after he purchased the tickets, he became a member of the organization as well.

Since the Nautic Star is his third boat, he said he is going to put it up for sale.

Dave Souders, co-founder of Wounded Warrior Anglers, said he cannot put into words what Fort Myers Marine owner Chuck Calkins has done for the organization. The boat raffle was courtesy of Calkins.

"He is a giving person," he said, adding that what he has done is phenomenal. "Chuck is always wanting to give back and help."

Due to his generosity, Wounded Warrior Anglers were able to make a profit of $16,550 from the boat raffle for the organization.

"That was awesome," Souders said.

Since the raffle was such a huge success for the organization, Souders said the raffle will become their major fund-raiser every year during their tournament.

"Next year we will be doing this again and we will be putting up a nice raffle for the same purpose," he said of the partnership with Calkins. " We are just so happy to have someone like Chuck on our side and wanting to work with us and continue to work with us."

Another donation was made last week to Wounded Warrior Anglers.

Seitz decided to give back to Wounded Warrior Anglers by donating his 37-foot boat to the organization. He said since he has been trying to sell the boat for quite some time, he and his wife thought why not donate it to Wounded Warrior Anglers.

Souders said the donation of the boat will be used to help fund and facilitate their mission of helping warriors and their caregivers.

The boat was donated "so they can go out in the ocean and do deep sea fishing," Seitz said.

He wanted to extend a big thank you to Wounded Warrior Anglers.



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