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Raffle to benefit Wounded Warrior Anglers

By Staff | Mar 6, 2013

MEGHAN McCOY WildChild Gallery owner Peggy McTeague and Wounded Warrior Anglers of America Inc. founders Judy and David Souders hold an acrylic painting, which depicts their Original “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship tournament to be held in May. Raffle tickets will become available during Creative Coast Weekend March 8 at WildChild Gallery for the painting.

A raffle for an acrylic painting will be held for the next few months to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Anglers of America Inc., so the organization can continue to hold caregiver retreats four times a year.

Raffle tickets for the acrylic painting, which is an original by Linda Kegley, are $2 a piece or $20 for an arms length. Tickets will be sold all day March 8 during Creative Coast Weekend at the WildChild Gallery with special arm length deals.

The painting will be on display at the gallery.

The winner will be drawn at the Original “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship on Sunday, May 26, at the Olde Fish House Marina.

WildChild Gallery owner Peggy McTeague said Kegley wanted to create the painting for the tournament out of the respect she had for her mother, Audrey Beard, as well as for all the service members.

Every tournament the Wounded Warrior Anglers honors a different warrior for this or her service. The Original “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship will honor Beard.

When Beard was 20 years old, she enlisted in the U.S. Army, Woman’s Army Corp (USAFFE United States Army Forces, Far East) on Nov. 27, 1943. She was featured on a recruitment poster, since she was one of the first women to receive firearm training. Beard served 15 months in the Astatic-Pacific Theater, assisting in the Philippine liberation in the Allied Powers’ Translation and Interpretation Section.

The Japanese soldiers frequently kept diaries of all of their actions, in addition to the normal captured documents they had, which Beard, among other women, worked to restore after they were seized from the Japanese soldiers who were either captured or killed during the war.

Beard eventually made Florida her permanent home after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 when she volunteered her time at 69 years of age to help clean up and rebuild the area.

In 1999, Beard had a triple bypass heart surgery and several mini-strokes and in 2004 a gall bladder infection caused her to lose her left leg. When pseudomonas infection migrated to her left knee, she had to amputate the leg.

At the age of 80, she successfully got around Matlacha on her electric wheelchair. On Aug. 26, 2012, Beard passed away.

The Original “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship will be held Sunday, May 26, with lines in the water no earlier than 7 a.m. and check-in at the Olde

Fish House Marina no later than 4 p.m. The captains meeting will be at the Olde Fish House Saturday, May 25, at 7 p.m. A member of the team and all kayak participants must be present.

Ultimately, “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship is played just like seven card stud poker with the best five-card hand winning the championship, but with a unique twist. The unique twist is how the teams receive their cards to play the hand. Each team or individual will receive a playing card for each slot redfish between 18 inches to 27 inches with a maximum of seven cards for the team or individual. Where it becomes fun is that an 18-inch redfish that is typically around 2 1/4 pounds is now equal to that 27-inch redfish about 8 pounds. This makes it more fun because the average angler has effectively had the playing field leveled to compete with local professional redfish tournament fishermen.

The Original “Redfish Poker” Fishing Championship will be an annual event on Memorial Day weekend with an emphasis on raising funds for Wounded Warrior Anglers.

Wounded Warrior Anglers of America Inc.’s mission is “to help rehabilitate the mind, body & soul of all service members who have been injured, wounded or disabled in the line of duty no matter what their era of service.”

For information about the tournament visit redfishpoker.eventbrite.com/ or call 423-620-9103.