Rodeo annual meeting, election of board members is Feb. 11

Tina Harbuck

Although the Destin Fishing Rodeo just wrapped up a couple of months ago, it’s already time to start planning for the 68th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.

The annual general membership meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 11 at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. Complitmentary heavy hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages will be served and a cash bar will be available.

During the meeting three new directors will be elected.

This year’s slate of candidates include long-time rodeo volunteers, participants and captains. On the ballot is past chairman, Capt. Allen Staples of the Al-Lin, Capt. Trey Windes of the charter boat Outta Line, and rodeo volunteer Kathy Eller, wife of Capt. Mike Eller of the Lady Em. There will also be write-in spaces available for additional nominations.

Voting is limited to rodeo members in good standing only. But to become a rodeo member is easy. Memberships are available, $20 for single and $35 for families, which can be paid the night of the meeting or by visiting the rodeo website at www.destinfishingrodeo.org, by mail at P.O. Box 296, Destin, FL 32540, or by dropping by the office located beside the Destin Community Center.

The fishing rodeo, Destin’s oldest tradition, is a volunteer based non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote recreational fishing within Destin; strengthen the claim of the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village; and to foster good sportsmanship and safe fishing among the general public by providing an organized competition for recreational fishermen.

Every year more than 35,000 anglers converge on Destin for the month-long October tournament hoping to reel in that trophy winning catch.

But members and volunteers are needed to make it all happen. The rodeo needs people whose interest range from fishing to beauty pageants to everything in between.

The night of the general meeting, members will get the chance to signup for various committees such as the rules committee, awards, marketing, judges and Miss Destin pageant committee.

In order to assure continued growth, the rodeo needs members to bring their ideas to the committees. The rules and awards committees will begin meeting in February to set the direction for the 2016 rodeo.