Fishin' For A Cure For CF

Fishin' For A Cure For CF
Capt. Gary Ellis (right) talks about the 23 year old Redbone series of fishing tournaments. With him on stage at the Lorelei were band leader Big Richard and E-Street singer, saxophonist and frontman Clarence Clemons a popular celebrity at many of the Redbone tournaments.

"Wow," exclaimed Capt. Gary Ellis when told their Redbone fishing tournaments had raised $1.4 million for cystic fibrosis research in 2010; a single event Ellis and his wife Susan started 23 years ago that's spawned nearly 30 more tournaments."We knew our research funding last year raised over a $1 million like it has for each of the previous six years, but when all the figures were given to us we were amazed," said Ellis.

The announcement was made Sat., May 14, during the Redbone's 22nd annual "Fruits of our Labors" BBQ cookout at the Lorelei, to celebrate the hard work and money raised through its 2010 series of tournaments. The $1,400,000 was raised from last fall's Redbone trilogy of Keys tournaments plus 25 other Redbone fishing events in the U.S., the Bahamas and Mexico.

The Fla. Keys charity in cooperation with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has raised over $15 million since the Redbone's inception in 1988.

Big Man jams with Big Richard

E-Street Band saxophonist, singer and frontman Clarence Clemons (The Big Man) added to the Redbone celebration jamming with Big Richard and the Family Fun Band. Clemons is a popular celebrity angler in many of the Redbone tournaments across the nation.

Virginia angler wins $28,000 Dragonfly boat in Redbone drawing

Joe Viar of Alexandria, Virginia, a long time supporter and angler in the Redbone tournaments was the winner in the Super Raffle drawing for a Dragonfly Boatworks 16-ft. Emerger skiff complete with a 40 hp Evinrude outboard, Power-Pole and a Float-On Trailer.

The "To Catch The Cure" Tournaments

Holding a check representing the $1.4 million dollars raised from the Redbone family of celebrity fishing tournaments during 2010 for CF research are Redbone founders Capt. Gary and Susan Ellis, flanking Dragronfly Boatworks representative Capt. Jeff Johnson.

The Redbone (REDfish and BONEfish) began as a small local Keys tournament to help CF patients like Gary and Susan Ellis' young daughter Nicole. The late Major League Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams, then an Islamorada resident, helped the Ellis' attract many of his celebrity friends and through the efforts of guides, anglers and volunteers they raised $16,000 at that first event. Within four years it had grown to three fall tournaments in the Keys. Two decades later the Redbone tournaments have grown to four distinct series. The first is the original Redbone points trilogy in the Keys' 125 mile chain of islands. Five southeastern states are home to the Redbone Red*Trout series for redfish and sea trout. Three more Redbone@Large events are held in the Bahamas Celebrity Bonefish series and 17 more for a wide array of fish species in the Redbone@Large Celebrity Tournament series which crisscross the U.S., Bahamas and Mexico.

Anglers fishing as a team or with a celebrity are professionally guided for a select group of game fish in the local waters which they catch, photograph and release. At many of the 28 tournament sites around North America, CF chapters host the Redbone formatted tournaments under the guidance of the Ellis'.

"When we started the Redbone," said Ellis, "the life expectancy of CF patients was the early teens. Now with the remarkable strides in gene research CF patients are living into their mid 30's. But there's still no cure, and the work is not complete until the cure is found."

For more info call the Redbone at 305-664-2002, or go online at

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