Fishing for the Fight 2017

One of the tournament winners pictured with Bella, who has been battling neuroblastoma for 8 years.

On Saturday, May 6th, we were thrilled to be the beneficiary of an event thrown by students from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus. The inaugural Fishing for the Fight was organized by Savannah Billett, Hunter Schoch, and Garret Greca as part of a project for one of their classes, and they blew it out of the water!

These students are 19 years old (!) and live in the “Leadership Living Learning Community on campus. As part of their leadership course, students identify a challenge within the community and work with those involved to implement a solution. They decided to do a fishing tournament because Hunter and Garret eat, sleep, and breathe fishing, and Savannah wanted to do something that would benefit childhood cancer research. They even went out and got press!

We’ve known Savvy (now she’s in college and goes by Savannah) since she was in 7th grade. She learned of my son Ezra’s cancer treatment from one of my neighbors who went to school with her (Molly), and followed us online. She’s been fundraising for childhood cancer research ever since. Savvy started out with her friend Molly making and selling bracelets at her school, and holding restaurant fundraising events (that may have been our very first fundraiser!) with her family to benefit our research.

Savannah Billet with Beat Nb Executive Director Kyle Matthews and wife Robyn Matthews

For this year’s Fishing for the Fight, lines were in the water at 7am, and captains with their boats were out in the water fishing for the largest variety of three different types of fish. Back at shore, they were greeted with a party at the Hula Bay Club. Food, drinks and prizes for their catches (some awesome Yeti Coolers) made for a great day. The weather was perfect!

Along with the prizes for the catches were silent auction items (including hotel stays at the Swan and Dolphin at Walt Disney World and Tradewinds in St. Petersburg, a Guy Harvey crafted table, sunglasses and more), a 50/50 raffle and a raffle for other great fishing related prizes. 

I sat in with the students a few days before the event as they presented their project to the Mayor of St Petersburg, Rick Kriseman. I was proud of Savannah and her years of advocacy as I listed to them share all the effort they put in. Events are a TON of work! These students canvassed the town asking for raffle donations, reached out to everyone they knew to attend the event, and spent weeks planning an event that wound up raising over $5,000.

We couldn’t be more thankful for Savannah, Garret, and Hunter’s efforts and their fundraising, all of which benefits Beat Nb‘s mission of beating neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers through patient-affecting clinical trials and research.

Kyle Matthews
Executive Director, Beat Nb

Fishermen line up while winners are announced.

Presenting one of the winners with her Yeti cooler.

Sofia (pictured with Savannah Billet) is on our DFMO trial, cancer free and beating neuroblastoma.

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