Military Appreciation Day
Military Appreciation Day (MAD) will be held on September 21, 2013 at the Southport Marina. The idea behind this event is to provide a way for locals to say thank you to active duty service members. This is reflected in the motto of "One simple thanks". Local fishermen are invited to sign up and take active duty personnel fishing for a day. Those that sign up tell us how many service members they are capable of or willing to take out for the day on their boats and we get them the troops. Following a day of fishing, we will feed the troops and volunteers before we send them home happy and full.
The event was started and continues in Morehead City. This year they were privileged to have over 120 boats sign up and take over 500 troops fishing in June. Over the last 5 years a fall event has been held in the Southport/Oak Island area we have had quite a bit of success. Last year's event had just over 100 troops and about 60 boats sign up for the day. This was an increase in both volunteers and troops.
As with any event that grows, there are needs that arise. That is why I am contacting you through the Chamber of Commerce. In the past years we have had the pleasure of having the support of many local businesses. Southport Marina hosted the event last year and has given discounts to those that participated in the years before.
Russell's Restaurant has been very gracious in their assistance with the food items needed. And let's not forget the BBQ House with their donation of banana pudding that always puts a smile on the tired faces of the troops. Bojangle's has even provided tea and Wildlife Restaurant allows a discount for those volunteers needing a little nourishment on the morning of the event.
Food Lion on Oak Island has provided many items over the years.
Dutchmen Creek Bait and Tackle has always been ready with a donation of bait or of some type of equipment that can be used. The Tackle Box at Southport Marina provides discounts to those participating and has on more than one occasion stayed late for those that need those late night items. Those providing donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated. Your support of this event does not go without notice.
This year a new program has been implemented where a business that donates at least $50 or an equivalent, will receive a banner to hang that shows their support of MAD. This will show consumers that you support Military Appreciation Day and appreciate their business also. We need volunteers also. The event requires help early in the morning getting the boats loaded and off and getting them unloaded in the afternoon when they return. Those that are handy with the filet knife are greatly welcomed. Last year the fishing was so successful those that volunteered to clean fish were backed up for about 2 hours.
Of course we welcome any who wish to take someone fishing on their boat.
The history of, enrollment in, volunteering for, and donations can all be accessed on our website;
This is a fully charitable event and any donations are used for the event. No member of MAD receives payment for their participation. Please take a moment to visit the website for the details on the charitable status.
Finally, I wish to get the input of the area merchants on an idea that the MAD Board of Directors has brought up. The Morehead City event not only includes a day of fishing for the active duty member, but they also provide family activities for the service member's family. The event utilizes a local park and different attractions are set up, boat tours are made available, and a lunch is provided.
MAD Southport/Oak Island was originally designed as a fishing event only with no family activities provided. In past years the idea of hosting the families also has been briefly discussed but was shelved as the event was just starting and it was not felt the support would be there.
As our local event is now growing, the question of having family activities in association with the fishing event is again being brought up. The reason for me bringing this to your attention is that I would like some local business feedback concerning your support of this. When I address the Board of Directors on this matter later in the year, I would like to be able to advise them about the response received from you.
As a business owner, and after reviewing the website for further information, would you be in support of Family Activities for future events?
Thank you for taking your time to read over this and of any support that you may provide. If you have any questions or wish to volunteer or support our event, please visit our website or contact me via my email listed below.
Military Appreciation Day Southport/Oak Island Event Chair