Annual American Heroes on the Gulf May 12-13
Deep sea fishing & banquet to honor vets & first responders
Ironmen Outdoor Ministries will kick off its annual American Heroes on the Gulf deep sea fishing event with a welcome banquet at the Orange Beach Event Center on May 12. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the program is from 6 – 9 p.m. There will be a buffet dinner by Alabama Coastal Catering, a silent auction and a concert by Michael B-Reddy & Band.
Table of 10 banquet sponsorships are available for $750, with individual tickets available for $75. Silent auction and financial donations are accepted as well. For more information, contact Greg Godwin at (251) 510-7649, Jeff Godwin at (850) 261-4699 or Dave Powers at (407) 729-7034.
An all-day fishing excursion will leave Hudson Marina the following morning, May 13 at 7 a.m.
Both the fishing excursion and banquet are designed to show honor and love to disabled veterans and first responders for the sacrifices they have made for our country. Donations and sponsorships help Ironmen Outdoor Ministries pay for the welcome banquet, a full day of fishing, food, lodging, tackle, bait, water, prizes and other necessities.
Founded in Montgomery in 2007 by Rick Murphy, Ironmen Outdoor Ministries, has been sponsoring deep sea fishing trips for disabled vets in Orange Beach for the past five years. The faith based non-profit also sponsors deer hunting trips and catfish roundups for special needs children.
“I could talk about this event for a year and still not come close to listing all the testimonials, letters and emails I’ve received from soldiers about how this has changed their lives,’’ said Greg Godwin, the group’s southern director and a Gulf Shores resident since 2004. “I’ve heard from soldiers who are contemplating suicide but were given hope after receiving so much honor and love when they come here.’’
Godwin said at least 80 disabled veterans from all over the country will be here for the event, which has become a way for them to bond with each other.
“A big attraction for our sponsors is they can also join the veterans on the fishing trip and get to know them and connect with them. They hear how patriotic they are and learn about their challenges. What is amazing is they talk mostly about the good things in their life.
“The main thing is to make sure we are loving and honoring our veterans and we are giving our disabled veterans who come here something the can hang onto and use to help other veterans,’’ Godwin added. “It gives them a purpose and allows them to take the focus off of themselves. They paid the price for thier country and now they want to see what they can do to help others.’’
Godwin said the generosity of the event sponsors from charter captains donating their boats to one donor paying for fuel to gift cards from Tacky Jacks and Souvenir City for the veterans’ goodie bags has been overwhelming.
“Everybody that comes gets that hook in their mouth and then they are hooked for life. It’s a feel good kind of thing because we get to help others and you can’t beat that,’’ Godwin said. “People need hope and people need good things. And that’s what this is. It’s a good thing.’’