The Miami Dolphins Foundation hosted its largest annual event featuring current players, alumni and cheerleaders, FinsWeekend, on May 17-19, 2012 throughout South Florida. The three-day extravaganza featured an exciting weekend of golf, fishing and celebrities. In all, FinsWeekend raised more than $600,000 for the Miami Dolphins Foundation, whose mission is devoted to providing and supporting signature education, health, youth athletic programs and volunteer activities that inspire and engage communities throughout Florida.
“This is such a unique event,” Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said. “I don’t think there is anything like it in sports. It fits our community and we are so fortunate to have so many people that volunteer their time and take a leadership role in generating funds for the Miami Dolphins foundation. This raises money for us to provide the financial basis for us to do things in the community throughout the year. This puts us in a position to fulfill the commitment we have to make a difference in the community.”
Now in its 16th year, FinsWeekend has grown into the signature fundraising event for the Dolphins Foundation.
“The fishing was obviously much better and this was our biggest tournament ever so hopefully we’ll raise a lot of money for the foundation,” said FinsWeekend Chairman Jeff Peck. “It’s great to see all the smiles up and down the dock and everyone having a great time and at the end of the day knowing they’re having a great time while raising money to help out the community.”
The festivities began on Thursday, May 17, with the Celebrity Draw Party, presented by Sun Life Financial in the Harry Soffer room at Turnberry Isle Miami. The party included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and interactive games such as putting, chipping, pitch shot and bunker shot for unique prizes.
On Friday, May 18, celebrities, Dolphins players and alumni hit the greens at Turnberry Isle Miami’s award-winning golf course for the FinsWeekend Golf Tournament. Former Dolphins tight end Jed Weaver and the JM Lexus Number 2 team were tied with former Dolphins wide receiver James McKnight and the Tony Galvin team after the 18-hole shamble format. Both teams scored 55 and the tiebreaker was settled on the No. 4 hole. The golf tournament was followed by an awards luncheon
Later that evening, the popular Hook & Tackle Captain’s Party took place at the Miami Beach Marina, which featured entertainment and a silent auction. At the event, the Dolphins announced its 2011 team award winners. Quarterback Matt Moore was named the Dan Marino Most Valuable Player Award winner. Linebacker Karlos Dansby won the team’s Don Shula Leadership Award, while kicker Dan Carpenter and punter Brandon Fields took home the Nat Moore Community Service Award.
The following morning, on Saturday, May 19, amateur and professional anglers gathered at the Miami Beach Marina for the Miami Dolphins Foundation Fishing Tournament, presented by Alterna Financial. Participants enjoyed a day of offshore fishing accompanied by Dolphins players and alumni. In the afternoon, all fishing participants got together for the “Hooters Weigh-in” where the crew of O-Sea-D turned in 195.4 pounds of fish to take home the trophy, with Bouncers Dusky 33 coming in with 147.6 pounds. Billin Office finished third with an even 100 pounds. Captain Michael Vera, Jorge Villar, Eduardo Gonzalez and Jose Lopez made up the crew of the winning boa and won a trip for four on the team charter to a regular season Dolphins away game. Later that evening, attendees gathered for the HMY/Contender Awards Ceremony. At the event, major items were auctioned including a jet ride with four (4) 2013 Super Bowl tickets sponsored by Sky Limo and a 21 foot Contender with a Mercury Engine.
Photos by Miami Dolphins