Brian Peachy, front left and event organizer, stands with military veterans honored at recent 7th Annual Grouper Grapple Fishing Tournament hosted by Fish Tale Marina on Fort Myers Beach. The event locally organized by Peachy, partnered with the Reunite the Fight non-profit organization to sponsor a group of veterans to experience freedom on the water with an amazing Estero Bay fishing excursion, including travel costs and accommodations on Fort Myers Beach. Fifteen teams entered the event this year. 100% of entry fees are returned to the winning teams. The event also supports two student scholarships in honor of former Estero High School coach, Jeff Sommer, who passed away in 2015. Led by Sommer’s son Adam and wife Sue, scholarship recipients are selected based on the character and perseverance demonstrated by Coach Sommer. This year a Kids Fishing Derby was a part of the event. Event volunteer Sean Simmons participated in the first event as an invited veteran, and has volunteered to assist in the event since. The former Marine Sergeant felt the event 7 years ago was a big step in his recovery from PTSD, by leading him to reconnect with the outdoors and its peace and tranquility. “Everyone participating here leaves happy for the opportunity to share the fishing and fellowship with other veterans that the event provides,” Simmons added.
Photo by Bob Layfield