PORT ARANSAS, Texas, July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The impact of the Deep Sea Roundup, the oldest and one of the largest fishing competitions in Texas, goes far beyond the fun and excitement of the tournament itself. The Roundup has enabled more than $225,000 in scholarships for Coastal Bend students, and this year, the Port Aransas Boatmen are finding new ways to give back by enabling a nonprofit to accept donations that support the event and the children of Port Aransas.
Willie Hornberger, partner in the Dallas office of Texas-based law firm Jackson Walker, says he got involved with the Roundup because of the impact of the event on the lives of youth across the region and state.
"It's so easy to be passionate about this effort," Willie said. "The people of Port Aransas helped raise my dad, me, and my kids. The Roundup gives us the opportunity to pay it forward and help deserving students while enjoying some fantastic fishing."
The Port Aransas Boatmen, who organize and host the Roundup, have awarded more than 150 scholarships to graduating seniors, high school graduates, previous scholarship recipients, and individuals seeking licenses or certifications.
Event co-chair Ron Woltersdorf said that the ability of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to accept sponsorships supporting the Roundup will make it easier for companies and individuals to support the scholarship fund.
"I've seen the life-changing impact these scholarships have on students in the Port Aransas area," Ron said. "Our vision is to increase educational opportunities for generations to come, and this nonprofit will help make that possible."
The tournament, which began in 1932 as the Tarpon Roundup, brings more than 800 contestants to one of the largest family fishing contests on the Texas Gulf Coast.
"The Deep Sea Roundup is a true Port Aransas and Texas tradition," said Charles R. Bujan, Port Aransas mayor. "It's a part of island life that I look forward to every year, and I'm proud of the scholarships it makes possible."
"Port A is an incredible place to be year-round, but the Deep Sea Roundup shows what makes Mustang Island so much fun in the summer," said Jeffrey Hentz, president and CEO of the Port Aransas / Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce. "Our great fishing and family atmosphere are on full display during the Roundup."
Parents from across the state bring their children to the Roundup, just as their parents did years ago.
San Antonio resident Jann Cones Milam said: "When we were little, our parents would load us up in the station wagon to fish the Deep Sea Roundup. We loved fishing the Piggy Perch and watching our local friends bring the big fish in. Today, we load up our fourth-generation anglers and head down to the docks for two days of piggy perching. It is one of our favorite family traditions!"
Austin resident Trey Zahn, son of Port Corpus Christi Commission Chairman Charlie Zahn, said that the Roundup is a tradition for his family as well.
"Each year, I get to come home to the town where I grew up, and fish this tournament with three generations of my family," Trey said. "There is nothing like it anywhere else on the coast."
Corpus Christi resident Adair Bates, 14, said that she likes the competitive aspect of the youth division of the Roundup.
"Normal fishing is fun, but it's much more exciting when there's competition and bragging rights on the line," she said.
Adair's father, Cody Bates, agreed. "I love the roundup because it encompasses all ages," he said. "Even though it's a tournament, the two-day format allows for a relaxed atmosphere and makes it the best days together with my girls every summer."
Willie Hornberger said that Jackson Walker's platinum sponsorship of the tournament is a natural fit for the law firm.
"It's a great time to be in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi – a region that's a true economic engine in Texas and the nation," Willie said. "I'm proud that we're a part of an area with the fourth-largest port in the country – and the top crude oil export terminal in the U.S. – that supports a vibrant fishing community and meaningful family traditions like the Roundup."
Information and registration for the July 11-14 Deep Sea are available at deepsearoundup.com. Tax-deductible contributions to support the Port Aransas Boatmen Endowed Scholarship Fund can be made by calling the Boatmen at (361) 215-5928 or you can donate online at: http://www.deepsearoundup.com/sponsors.html.
Contact: Joan Garland, 361-749-5919 ext. 811
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SOURCE Port Aransas & Mustang Island Tourism Bureau