THE STORY BEHIND NAPLES TAKE A SOLDIER FISHING
In 2007, Naples couple, Steve and Jamie Loyd heard that an organization was taking military members out fishing in Tampa. Being local fishing-enthusiasts, they know Naples had some of the best fishing and that they could bring in soldiers to give them a fun day on the waters around Southwest Florida to show appreciation for their service.
Thus, started the Naples Take A Soldier Fishing, focusing on providing a free weekend of fun and fishing for active-duty military, retired and wounded veterans.
The first year, the event hosted 35 soldiers for a one-day excursion. Today the event brings in more than 130 troops and 65+ captains for a weekend of fun and fishing.
The Loyd’s are thrilled by the response the soldiers received from the community. As more residents learn about the event, there are more individuals and businesses donating and volunteering to make each year bigger and better than the last.
Naples Take A Soldier Fishing is a 501c3, non-profit organization that supports the brave men and women serving in the United States Armed Services. Each September, for over 10 years, a local group of fishing captains and anglers host over 150 active duty combat soldiers and wounded combat veterans to fish both the inshore and offshore waters of beautiful Naples.
Through donations from local businesses, personal donations, and our various fundraising events, we raise the necessary funds to put on the largest charity fishing tournament in Southwest Florida. Our board is 100% volunteer, comprised of local individuals who care deeply about our country and the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to defend the freedoms we cherish in America. All monies raised or donated, directly fund the weekend events, which include luxury lodging, meals, entertainment, transportation, and awards for our troops. All captains who participate donate their time, expertise, fuel, and equipment.