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Matlacha Hookers make donations to PIE and F.I.S.H.

January 17, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Last Monday night, at the annual swearing-in party of the new board of directors, the Matlacha Hookers donated funds from its Pine Island Elementary Fishing Tournament in November.

"Considering Hurricane Irma and the forced delays of the fishing tournament until November, I'm very happy to report we almost matched the previous year's tournament," Hookers Madam Julia Simpson said.

"We have the first installment check in the amount of $2,500 for the Pine Island Elementary School with a second check for $2,500 coming in September," Simpson said. "We were able, with the hurricane, with the last minute postponement of the tournament, including one $2,000 scholarship, to donate $20,000 for the school and that's only $3,000 less than we donated last year."

Article Photos

Participa-ting in the check presentation to Pine Island Elementary are, from left, Princi-pal Steven Hook, Madam Julia Simpson and DJ Ruscik.


"When we have a task at hand, this organization pulls together," DJ Ruscik said. "This year's tournament had so many great things that hadn't occurred before the kids and teachers had a blast and everybody had a great time. And even with the difficulties we faced this year, we've made improvements for years to come. Compliments to every single person in this room."

"What a blessing it is to work with all of you," PIE Principal Steven Hook said. "We talk to the kids about being kind, caring and loving all the time and the Matlacha Hookers model that to them in such a wonderful way. On behalf of all of the students at Pine Island Elementary, I want to thank each and every one of you."

"I couldn't be more happy and overjoyed with what we were able to do this year," Simpson said. "It was stressful and we were concerned but canceling this event just wasn't an option."

Every year on Christmas Eve the Matlacha Hookers travel throughout the islands singing Christmas carols. This year they raised $2,737.20 for FISH (Friendly Islanders Sending Help).

The Matlacha Hookers were founded in 1998 by 21 women. Their goal and motto was, and still is, to "make a positive difference in the community." Over 1,000 members have signed up over the years.

The Hookers began raising money with a fishing tournament the first year and have been holding them every year since (with the exception of 2004).



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