Thanks to one bluefish, two big-hearted local business owners and four lucky fishermen, LIFE became nearly $4,000 richer this past summer.
LIFE was one of the beneficiaries of the inaugural charity Charter Cup Fishing Tournament, presented by E.J. Jaxtimer of E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. and Sam Baxter of Baxter’s Boathouse and Fish & Chips. The invitation-only, one-day event, which took place on July 19 from Baxter’s Fish and Chips in Hyannis, featured eight of the Cape’s finest boat crews competing to raise money for their selected charities.
“I’m proud that businesses from our local community came together to introduce this new fishing tournament to raise funds for our local nonprofits,” said Jaxtimer. “With my lifelong passion for fishing and philanthropy, I wanted to create a new, exclusive fishing tournament that will benefit nonprofits who are in need of funding on Cape Cod.”
Jaxtimer and his wife, Terry, have been active philanthropists across the Cape for decades. They serve as co-chairs for the Cape Cod Fall Classic, which benefits The Genesis Foundation for Children, and the Big 3 Fishing Tournament, which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands. Jaxtimer was also instrumental in running the Joe Cronin Memorial Fishing Tournament, which has become the largest private, one-day fundraiser for The Jimmy Fund, raising $5.5 million dollars over the past 23 years.
The Charter Cup Fishing Tournament raised awareness and more than $50,000 for eight local non-profits. In addition to LIFE, the benefiting organizations included Cape Abilities, Cape Cod Child Development, Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod, Independence House, May Institute, Special Olympics Cape Cod & Islands, and WellStrong. Each crew entered with the commitment to raise a minimum of $2,500.
Bill Bowman, a project manager at E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, steered his fellow Gannet crew members into selecting LIFE as their charity of choice. Bowman’s wife, Amy, works as an employment counselor at LIFE. Two of their children, Will and Skylar, have been involved in coaching positions. Will, the caddie master at The Hyannisport Club, has coached LIFE’s Special Olympics golf team for the past two years. Skylar, 17, has assisted the swim team’s coaching staff.
“Obviously what my wife and children do there is very rewarding and I think we could all agree it was a good cause,” said Bowman, who shared first-mate responsibilities during the tournament with his son Will.
Another tie to LIFE is that Jaxtimer has employed LIFE participant Karl Hersh in company’s landscaping department and Jaxtimer says “he does a wonderful job.”
The Gannet crew, led by boat captain George Noonan, raised $2,950 and was awarded an additional $1,000 for catching the heaviest bluefish, weighing 12.4 pounds. Combined, their donation to LIFE totaled $3,950. The funds are being used to purchase warm-up jackets for LIFE’s Special Olympics teams.