The people of the Crossroads are a very generous bunch of folks. Individuals and organizations are always looking for ways to help those less fortunate and make a difference in the lives of others. From bakes sales to marathons to barbecues and benefits, the Crossroads is there to help the needy and make a way for people to have fun at the same time.
Seadrift native Austen Rivera just happens to be one of many individuals who has a heart to help and All Things Crossroads magazine caught up with him to find out the latest on the efforts that he and others are putting toward helping the community. Rivera is the fishing tournament director of the upcoming Seadrift Shrimpfest Fishing Tournament. A couple of years ago, Rivera, his father and a few of his fishing buddies decided that to help the Shrimpfest celebration and boost attendance, they would organize a fishing tournament. It had been fifteen years since a fishing tournament was held at the annual Shrimpfest. Last year was their first tournament and it proved to be a very successful addition to the Shrimpfest celebration. Thirty-five boats participated in the event and the monetary results were amazing. The tournament paid out almost fifteen thousand dollars in entry fees that were paid back to the teams. In addition, the tournament donated fifteen hundred dollars to the Harbor’s Children’s Alliance and Victim Center in Port Lavaca. They donated fifteen hundred dollars to the Seadrift school district to help with supply shortages and they donated one thousand dollars to the Seadrift Volunteer Fire Department for their annual chili supper. They also donated over one hundred pounds of fresh fish fillets to the Feed My Sheep program of Calhoun County, an organization helping the needy in the county. The original goal of the tournament was to bring in extra tourism dollars to the Shrimpfest and on top of that they wanted to be able to give back to Calhoun County. “We were able to do both things last year and we’re hoping to build on that this year even better.” States Rivera. The tournament is hoping to have close to fifty boats participating in the event this year and with that increase also be able to expand the amount of monies donated to various organizations. Rivera and associates are grateful for those who have helped to sponsor this event. The title sponsor for this event this year is Bay Flats Lodge as well as Coast Line Trailers in Seadrift, DOW Chemical, Chriss Marine in Aransas Pass and Dick’s Food Store in Seadrift.
In addition to the Shrimpfest fishing tournament, Rivera’s friend Mike Allen will be hosting a kayak tournament in connection with the Shrimpfest. Rivera and his associates also help the community in other ways by hosting another fishing tournament with Combat Marines Outdoors in Seadrift at the Welder Cliburn Ranch the same weekend as the Warriors Weekend of Port O’Connor. This event is organized by Butch Hodges. Over twenty combat veterans are treated to a weekend of fun, fellowship and recovery. This event will be held May 19-20.
Mark your calendars, have some fun and help make a difference in the lives of others. The Seadrift Shrimpfest Fishing Tournament will be held June 16-17. Rules and registration forms for this event can be found at www.seadriftchamber.com. Also, a Facebook page is available with more information and photos from last year’s event @bayrattournament. Sponsorships and volunteers are also welcome as well as donations for raffle items. For more information on this tournament, contact Austen Rivera at (361) 920-2878.