Eastern Carolina is fishing for scholarships

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina town has adapted a yearly fishing tournament into an opportunity to give back to the community and students graduating high school.

The 5th Annual Emerald Isle Fishing Tournament is a chance for fishermen to win cash prizes and benefit graduating high school seniors. They have the opportunity to win scholarships for their collegiate academic career.

In the last four years, the fishing tournament has raised over $72,000 for the community. That sum includes $36,000 in scholarships. This year, $18,000 is up for grabs. Six students will have will compete to earn $3,000 each with applications submitted. The other money raised is allocated to go back to community needs.

Dr. Ron Dimock, a retired Wake Forest Marine Biology professor who serves as the chairman of the scholarship committee says the fishing tournament and the pre-tournament Captains’ Dinner meeting raised so much money five years ago that Mark Taylor, the commissioner for Emerald Isle, asked for volunteers to help extend the funds to students. Dimock jumped in and has been helping ever since.

He says the hope is to help students kick start their collegiate career and entice them to come to the coast to work. There is no specification on what school you must go attend. Dimock says students benefiting from the scholarship are enrolled in schools in Massachusetts and Florida.

Seniors that qualify for the scholarship are to be pursuing an interest in marine or an environmental-related career in Carteret County or at Swansboro High School. Information and the application are here. The scholarship program has a deadline of March 31.

But remember, two things are going on. The physical fishing tournament is on September 16 at the Emerald Isle Wildlife Ramp. At this time, there is no deadline to enter.

If you would like to be a part of the many sponsors that make the event happen like Goose Creek Marine, Reel Outdoors, Tractor Country, Crystal Coast Tourism, J Holland Cornerstone Mortgage, or donate, do so by going to their website, too.