MAD 8 Southport is scheduled for Saturday, September 21, 2013. CLICK HERE for event information.
On Saturday June 1, nearly 600 active duty service members left the docks in Morehead City for the 8th annual Military Appreciation Day event which was once again hosted by Military Appreciation Day, Inc. This was the seventeenth “Take Our Troops Fishing Event” that Military Appreciation Day, Inc. has hosted since the all-volunteer organization was founded in 2006.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of volunteers and donors, MAD 8 Morehead City has grown to be the largest event of its kind in the world as 117 boats took members of all five service branches out for a day of fishing while their family members were treated to a day full of activities including sightseeing boat rides, a kids fishing derby, carnival type games and other land based fun!
Volunteers traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware arrived on Friday evening for a meeting and dinner that served to officially kick off the MAD 8 festivities. The big event however, started at 4:00 AM on Saturday morning as MAD’s Honored Guests began to arrive for their day of fishing.
Random Pictures from MAD 8 Morehead City
As the MAD guests began to arrive they were greeted with coffee and donuts at the registration table. MAD volunteers helped to load the fishing boats and ensure their safe departure and return.
When the boats returned starting at 3:00 PM, there were fish cleaners standing at the ready to clean, bag and pack their fish. Thanks to the spectacular weather and great fishing, the fish cleaners did not stop until well after 9:00 PM!
While the boats were fishing, the Hobo Junction cooking teams were well underway in preparing to feed nearly 1200 guests and volunteers at City Park. With pork steaks from Murphy Brown, chicken quarters provided by House of Raeford, hot dogs, sweet potatoes, hush puppies and more, no one was able to leave without enjoying this massive feast.
At the end of the day it was clear the impact this day of giving had on both the MAD 8 volunteers as well as the MAD guests.
According to Capt. John Cawthern of Procastinator Sportfishing Charters; "I gotta tell ya, I am a better person after meeting these fine young men".
SSgt DuBois wrote this to the volunteers of MAD; "I cannot thank all of you enough. My family and I had the absolute best time. My family got to take part in the boat rides and loved every minute of it. My wife and kids want me to go buy a boat now (I got to say I agree.) Every volunteer there did an absolute superb job. After 17 years in the Marines this was by far the best event I have ever participated in. Thanks again for everything." God Bless
GnySgt Hubbard said: "Thanks for getting me assigned to a boat for MAD 8. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the picnic afterwards too. Please know that the efforts of the captains, crews, and volunteers on behalf of military members are truly appreciated. Thanks again and hope to see you next year."
As the event began to wind down the volunteers at MAD already had turned their attention to the next MAD event which is coming up in the fall. MAD 8 Southport is scheduled for Saturday September 21 at Southport Marina.
What is Military Appreciation Day?
WE NEED YOU!
We also need donations to help pay for these events for our heroes. No amount is too small! If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to MAD, click on the Donate tab above.
History of Military Appreciation Day
In February of 2006 a newspaper in Wilmington, NC published a story about restaurants that were refusing entry to a group of Marines who had just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Rodney Carroll, Dan Smith and John Polosky were outraged and decided to do something about it!
Within a few weeks they raised almost $1000 and with the help of a donated van and a few marines they set forth on a mission to change this policy and pay tribute to those who have served America.
As they visited these restaurants and spent time with these young marines they were overwhelmed with the desire to show appreciation for our true American Heroes and thus the idea for Military Appreciation Day was born!
Within two short months, all of the planning for the event was completed and on May 20, 2006 men and women from all five branches of the Armed Services arrived for the First Annual Military Appreciation Day or MAD1.
The 225 service men and women who ventured out in volunteer and chartered vessels were greeted by pouring rain and howling winds, but the spirit of the day was not diminished as volunteers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania were on hand for one reason...One, Simple, THANKS!