Ocean City Today

Another record year for Poor Girls Open tournament

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Aug 24, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli The Harman family and Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open directors present a check for $125,000 to Jamie Barrett, community development manager, Northeast Region of the American Cancer Society, fourth from left, and Pink Ribbon Classic committee members during the tournament awards banquet at Harrison’s Harbor Watch in Ocean City, Sunday.

(Aug. 25, 2017) Despite registering a couple boats less than in 2016, it was still a record year for the Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open fishing tournament.

A record 765 lady anglers fished on 155 boats during the 24th annual Open, held Aug. 17-19. A total of $222,935 – a tournament record and an increase of about $33,000 from 2016 – was awarded to the winners. To top it all off, event organizers presented a check for $125,000 to the American Cancer Society during Sunday’s awards banquet at Harrison’s Harbor Watch, at the inlet, in Ocean City.

Jamie Barrett, community development manager, Northeast Region of the American Cancer Society, Inc., was overwhelmed when the donation amount was announced by Shawn Harman, tournament co-director.

“I had to fight back tears when the Harman family presented the $125,000 check to the American Cancer Society because of all the good it brings to the cancer community,” she said. “We are able to fund life-saving research, give people rides to treatment and free places to stay while they are going through treatment.

“The tournament, participants, staff, supporters and the Harman family all bring an awareness to the issue of breast cancer as a threat to people’s lives and our duty to help eliminate it,” Barrett added.

Fifty-eight boats fished last Thursday, the first day of the Open. Twenty-seven headed offshore Friday and 70 went out last Saturday.

The Rhonda’s Osprey team caught and released eight white marlin to win the division and $113,270. The crew is the first in tournament history to receive a six-figure payout.

The Espadon team released five white marlin and won $28,542. The Billfisher anglers released four white marlin and took home $19,028.

Loren Manzione landed a 19.1-pound dolphin while fishing on Playmate to finish first in the division. The fish was worth $12,355.

Ashley Green hooked an 18-pound dolphin aboard Finatic, good for second place. Green and her teammates were awarded $5,913.

Lauren Boykin reeled in a 15.2-pound dolphin while fishing on Lucky Duck II. She and her fellow anglers received $3,942.50.

Hillary Mozeik’s 68.7-pound tuna caught aboard No Quarter was the heaviest in the Open. The team earned $11,882.50. Bubblehead angler Megan Collins landed a 68-pound tuna to finish in second place. The team pocketed $5,629.50.

Christy Keller reeled in a 64.5-pound tuna while fishing on Tighten Up. The group was awarded $3,753.

Haulin’ n Ballin’ angler Shantel Willey brought the only wahoo to the 22nd Street Bahia Marina scale. The fish weighed 62.6 pounds and was worth $17,620.

Jordan Andreallo released one white marlin aboard Two Timing Connie to win the Junior Angler division. She was presented $1,000.

“The tournament went very well. Capt. Steve Harman smiled upon us once again,” said Earl Conley, co-director of the Poor Girls Open. “A bunch of white marlin were caught – well over 50. It was a good bite over three days.

“There were decent-sized dolphin and tuna,” he continued. “A lot of dolphin were brought in and we weighed a bunch of tuna.”

Participants said they enjoy fishing in the tournament because it benefits a worthy cause. Proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research and program development under the “Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series” — an assortment of local activities to raise breast cancer awareness while garnering money for the organization.

With the $125,000 check presented this year, the total donated by the Harman family through the tournament and other events since 2005 is nearly $925,000.

“[Fish Tales/Bahia Marina’s] Clammin’ for a Cure and the Poor Girls Open are pivotal events in fundraising for ACS,” Barrett said.

“Next year is going to be our 25th anniversary of this tournament and it’s going to be the ‘march to a million’ [dollars],” Shawn Harman said. “We want to say thanks to all the captains, crews, ladies that fished, and all the support from our sponsors, the help from the volunteers, and we hope to see everyone next year for the ‘march to a million.’”

In 2004, the tournament was renamed to honor the founder of the event, the late Capt. Steve Harman.

He and his wife, Pam, started the Poor Girls Open in 1994 to provide women with an opportunity to compete for prizes and money in a ladies-only tournament, and to raise money for local charities.

Harman died in February 2004, so organizers thought it was appropriate the tournament be renamed in his memory.

The competition has grown since its inception from just eight boats the first year to 155 in 2017.

“It’s amazing how much the event continues to grow each year,” Barrett said. “The winner of the 50/50 this year informed me she found out on Friday that her cancer is back, and is about to start treatment. It served as such a reminder of why we are here and what we are doing.”

The Open is the first event of the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series. Other events include a card game and mahj party; tennis, mah jongg and golf tournaments; survivor celebration; and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk and run.

Most of the events will take place in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Pink Ribbon Classic Series was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers. Since its inception, the series has raised about $3 million for breast cancer research, awareness, programs and services.

“We lost two Pink Ribbon committee members to breast cancer this year which deeply saddens and impacted us and the community,” Barrett said. “This year for Poor Girls we raised about $132,000 (through the Harman family donation, 50/50 raffle and merchandise sales during Poor Girls Open) that will go to aid those in their cancer fight and to fund research so hopefully one day no one will lose their lives to breast cancer.”

Some of the local programs and services available in this area include free wigs for patients; Road to Recovery, which connects local drivers with patients to transport them to and from treatment; and the Look Good Feel Better program available at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, which teaches patients how to cope with the cosmetic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

There is also the Hope Lodge, which provides lodging during treatment; Cancer Survivors Network available at www.cancer.org, a 24-hour-a-day cancer information center; and 1-800-227-2345 for patients to access ACS services.

This year, 5,250 women in Maryland will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Across the country, that number rises to 252,710, and an estimated 40,610 will die from the disease, according to the ACS.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

For more information about the Poor Girls Open, call Bahia Marina at 410-289-7438. To learn more about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.

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