2013 Boca Grande Scholarship Golf Scramble

Published on 13 September 2013


Please join us for our Annual Golf Scramble at The Gasparilla Golf Club Monday October 14th 2013.

There will be a shotgun start at 12:30pm and an awards ceremony with refreshments immediately following at the Gasparilla Inn  Beach Club.

All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. Your participation will help dozens of local students pursue their dreams through college scholarships to schools all over the country.

Please download and fill out the attached registration form and send it in to the Chamber today.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you out on the course!


2013 Golf Registration form

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WEB 2013 ladies day poster








Mother’s Day weekend will traditionally kick off Tarpon Season with the 23rd Annual Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament Saturday, May 11th 2013.

According to the tide forecast Mother’s Day weekend should be the perfect time for the ladies to engage in the most exciting sport in the most famous tarpon fishery in the world. We look forward to “Keepin’ It Reel” with this year’s tournament artist Kelly Reark-Borza. Her logo and products will be available for purchase as we near the event. Pre-registration is also available at the Chamber or charge by phone.

The Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce and the 2013 Ladies Day Committee invite the community to join us for another successful year of tarpon fishing and fun in the sun here on Boca Grande.

Download the form below and send in your entry today!

May 11 2013 Official Ladies Day Entry Form


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Published on 05 February 2013







World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and Festival Launches 2013 Season with Exciting new Developments.

For Immediate Release

Boca Grande, FL – February 5, 2013

Making its historic return in 2012, on its 30th Anniversary, the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and public festival was back in a big way with a renewed mission of conservation, education and sportsmanship. By combining the high-stakes allure of competitive, big-game sport fishing with practical conservation principles and informative entertainment, this trend-setting event is pioneering its way as a model for tarpon tournaments around the World.

This year, anglers will enter a two-day tournament on May 23rd & 24th with up to 4 anglers per team and will be competing for thousands in cash and prizes. Competitors will follow catch and release procedures designed for quick releases and the post-release welfare of all tarpon. Winners will be determined by the highest total number of tarpon successfully released, each of which are officially recorded when the Captain or mate touches the leader and immediately releases the tarpon. An Observer, professionally trained in tarpon identification, proper release procedures and tournament rules will accompany each team throughout the competition.

While tournament action heats up in Boca Grande Pass and the Gulf of Mexico, there will be plenty of family-friendly fun and excitement back on shore at the festival host location in beautiful Downtown Boca Grande May 24th & 25th. Event sponsors will be on hand to exhibit their products and conduct demonstrations and promotions, along with a wide variety of spectacular art vendors, live music performances, unique attractions like the Mote Mobile Aquarium, entertaining and educational marine-centric lectures by some of today’s leading fishery experts and scientists, and of course, lots of delicious food and cold beverages.

World-renowned marine artist, biologist, angler and event sponsor, Dr. Guy Harvey and his Ocean Foundation said, “This tournament and festival will increase global awareness of the important role that tarpon play in the world’s oceans and our ecosystem. We applaud the event’s founders and directors for their increased commitment to promote the proper catch and release of tarpon. Our goal with them is to help minimize the mortality rates of this species and maximize educational outreach about the important and growing need for their conservation.”

The flood of unprecedented support and involvement from the sport, science, conservation and business communities has propelled the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and Festival to receive local, regional and international mainstream media attention through TV news, radio talk shows and featured articles by respected journalists in several major publications. “As a result, this event has effectively reached millions of people, not only in our own back yard, but around the world”, states Lew Hastings, Executive Director of the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce. “And that reach is about to be extended as the result of an alliance between the Chamber and Sean and Brooks Paxton at Think Out Loud Productions who are producing an hour-long special feature entitled, Rich History…Priceless Future – the Tarpon of Boca Grande Pass.” The Paxton Brothers have made distribution arrangements with Fox Sports Florida to air the special to millions of households in the weeks leading up to this year’s event. They say, “We’re proud of the responsibility we’ve been given to share this important story with a television audience of this size.”

Lew Hastings adds that, “Everyone from our anglers, teams and observers to our sponsors and volunteers are excited about being involved in this because of the mission. We’re really looking forward to this year’s event and encourage anyone interested in participating or attending to contact me about getting involved. To our participating anglers, team registration is officially open and I look forward to hearing from you.”


 For more information including team entry forms and sponsor opportunities:



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After special screenings at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s Immersion Cinema in Sarasota, we are pleased to announce the public release of, “Rich History…Priceless Future – the Tarpon of Boca Grande Pass”. Presented by the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce and produced by Think Out Loud Productions, this educational short film and documentary preview can now be viewed and shared directly from the Chamber’s website at BocaGrandeChamber.com. We encourage everyone to watch this important film which features local personalities and experts, and to stay tuned for news about the upcoming full-length documentary on this important and evolving story. For more information, please contact Lew Hastings at 941-964-0568 or visit BocaGrandeChamber.com and ThinkOutLoudProductions.com.

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This is your invitation to the Boca Grande Scramble Golf Tournament scheduled for Monday, October 15th, 2012 at The Gasparilla Golf Club.

As in past years, this is the major fundraiser for the Boca Grande Chamber Scholarship Fund. Your involvement in this event will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Charlotte Harbor while golfing on this spectacular Pete Dye designed course, followed with an awards party, featuring culinary delights from Boca Grande’s talented chefs, and prizes too numerous to mention.  The best reward, however, is the gratification in knowing that you have helped in the academic advancement of so many deserving young men and women.

Every year the tournament proceeds are deposited in a separate fund specifically for the purpose of awarding educational scholarships to area students who have ties to Boca Grande.  These are students and parents who live, work, and/or volunteer in the community.  This year we will distribute up to $27,000 to over forty-two students who meet the eligibility requirements to receive scholarships. As a direct result of your tournament participation and/or sponsorship in 2011, the Chamber’s Scholarship fund was able to continue the support and commitment to these young adults for another year. Our goal is to exceed that amount in 2012.

Contact the Chamber at 941-964-0568 for registration.

2012 Fall Golf Scramble Registration form

2012 Fall Golf Scramble Sponsorship Investment

Being a part of their history helps us all build a better  future.

I look forward to seeing you at the tournament.


Lew Hastings

Executive Director

Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce

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Click here for an updated Schedule of Events

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Click here to follow the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament on Twitter as we build up to the event and tweet *LIVE* from the competition and all festival weekend May 17th through May 20th 2012!

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World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament Video

Published on 26 March 2012

World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament – Boca Grande, FL from Nelson Photographers on Vimeo.

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2012 Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament

Published on 27 February 2012


Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament — “Twenty Second Anniversary”

Bringing together mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.


Ahoy Matey’s!

Calling all Pirates, hearties and lasses for our 2012 X Marks the Spot” Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament! 

 Arrr featured artist is Brendan Coudal, selected once again with artwork that is for sure a treasure! This is Brendan’s fourth time as our official Ladies Day Tournament artist and he may need some help from the public this year with his as yet un-named “Pirate Girl” painting. But more about that later…

The collectable tournament posters have become an island prize and this year a portion of the proceeds are going to benefit The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.

Twenty two years ago a group of Boca Grande women got together and decided to have a tarpon tournament.  There were three requirements: it had to be all women, all release and all fun. Those three requirements are what made the tournament unique.   Tarpon tournaments were mostly men, usually involved dragging a prize tarpon several miles to the dock and displaying it for all to see. This was unacceptable for the women who founded the Boca Grande Ladies Day Tournament.  Even the ritual of weighing and releasing a tarpon on site (still a common practice in some tournaments) was considered too stressful on such a beautiful creature.  This practice is becoming less prevalent as many tournaments have changed to a more positive fishing style of “do no harm” a movement promoted  and supported among the local tarpon fishermen here on Boca Grande.

Multigenerational teams and an average of 50 boats are now competing in what has become an island tradition.  This is the “unofficial” kickoff of the world famous tarpon season in Boca Grande.

 “We know our ladies will love what we are doing this year. This year’s tournament includes the traditions of years past and adds a new flair that the committee members are thrilled about that will for sure become traditions of the future.”

 Larissa Wells  

Tournament Director

2012 Tournament Entry and Sponsorship Forms

May 20, 2012 Ladies Day Entry Form

2012 Ladies Day Sponsorship Form

 For more information on the tournament and how to purchase items featuring Brendan’s timeless artwork, contact:  Lew Hastings, Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce, 941-964-0568, info@bocagrandechamber.com

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2012 “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament

Published on 10 February 2012


















Dear Anglers, Sponsors and Sport Fishing fans the world over,

As the new Executive Director at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce one of my goals is to strengthen and promote the financial growth and well being of the local businesses in order to sustain a healthy community. A task not so easily carried out sometimes, especially in a challenging economy. In addition we see the constant threat of damage and destruction to the natural beauty and wildlife habitats that surround us and recognize that they can not and should not be looked upon as a cost of doing business. Exploitation of natural resources in the name of progress and financial gain leaves us a great deal poorer in the end.

Here at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce we are blessed with a unique opportunity to address both issues by promoting an eco-tourism event that encourages the motivation for conservation powered by the business community.

Our mission of Conservation, Education and Sportsmanship takes Boca Grande’s world famous moniker of “Tarpon Capital of the World” and the Boca Grande Chamber’s signature “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament and uses them to create a vehicle where we can build small business by educating residents and visitors alike about the importance of protecting our ecosystems.


In 2012 on the 30th Anniversary of it’s inception, the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor and direct the storied “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament for its long awaited return.


Education and conservation of the fishery combined with sport fishing will be the primary focus. Safe boating, sportsmanship and responsible angling will be promoted in order to encourage a safe, successful family friendly event that will ensure the protection and proper stewardship of our natural resources so that they may be enjoyed for generations to come.


The urgency towards conservation has become increasingly apparent over the last few years and the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to taking the lead in creating opportunities to help rehabilitate a habitat that has flourished in South West Florida for thousands of years.


This will be a multi-day event with the “World’s Richest” Tarpon Tournament held on May 17th & 18th, the Gasparilla Island Kids Classic hosted by Gasparilla Outfitters taking place on Saturday May 19th with proceeds benefitting Moffitt Cancer Research Center, and the Boca Grande Chamber’s 22nd Annual Ladies Day Tournament taking place on Sunday May 20th.


Our All–Release, No-Weigh, No-Kill tournaments are an alternative whose time has come. Bringing families together in sport and education

strengthens not only our estuaries and fisheries, but enriches our community as a whole.


Recent studies like the on done by Dr. Tony Fedler prepared for the Everglades Foundation concerning the significant economic and environmental impact recreational fishing has on our communities, make conservation for a sustainable fishery not only preferable but necessary.


We are proud to have Guy Harvey Enterprises as a premier sponsor and we are pleased to reveal their specially designed tournament art in support of the event. We have the support of companies like Project Tarpon whose primary mission is conservation. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Florida Sport Fishing Magazine, Harbor Style Magazine, the Tampa Bay Rays and more national sponsors have shown interest and we are currently working out details on how they can become involved.


We would like you to add your support to our efforts for this event. Your participation is vital to the success of our mission and shows we are committed to the continued success of our business community and the pursuit of a prudent course of action in the protection of the sport fishing history that our area was built upon.


Please contact me at the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce at 941-964-0568, email me at info@bocagrandechamber.com or visit our website at www.worldsrichesttarpon.com and let me know how we can work together.

Lew Hastings

Executive Director


PO Box 704

Boca Grande, FL 33921

email: info@bocagrandechamber.com


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