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Bluefin Bonanza Continues Support For Education, Conservation

South Portland, Maine – The  Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza tuna tournament continued their mission of supporting community, conservation and education with awards to several local groups.

At the Southern Maine Community College campus, CBBB president Bob Humphrey presented a check for $16,000 to Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges (FMCC) president John Fitzsimmons. These funds will be awarded as $1,000 scholarships to 14 students, 2 from each of Maine’s 7 community colleges enrolled in trades and marine sciences programs and an additional $1,000 scholarship for two students, one each from Southern Maine Community College and Central Maine Community College. “We deeply appreciate all the work of the Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza to raise funds for our students,” said Fitzsimmons. “Gifts like yours provide an opportunity to attend Maine’s community colleges that would otherwise not exist.” In addition to annual scholarships, the Bluefin Bonanza also has a $50,000 endowment with the FMCC that ensures scholarships in perpetuity. 

The Bluefin Bonanza also awarded a check for $25,000 to Liz Erickson, Director of Philanthropy at the University of Maine Foundation, Dr. Walt Golet, Assistant Professor from the UMaine School of Marine Sciences, and Research Scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Diane Rowland, Dean of the UMaine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, which oversees the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine. “These internships offer an invaluable opportunity for our interns to gain practical field experience and  make connections that will help them advance their professional careers,” said Golet. “The support also allows the Pelagic Fisheries Lab to increase the scope of our work on bluefin tuna.”

“We are very proud to be able to give back to the community that supports us,” said Humphrey. “Many of the businesses that support our annual event are in dire need of skilled trades workers and our scholarships help produce more qualified individuals for the local work force. Meanwhile, our support of the GMRI students and staff ensures that the best available science is applied in managing our valuable bluefin tuna resource, which in turn, supports local fishermen and the countless businesses associated with their infrastructure.” Capts. Kurt and Erik Christiansen, who provide financial and logistical support to the Lab were also on hand for the presentation. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to support research that ensures our fishery remains healthy and sustainable,” said Kurt.

The Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza is a 501 (c)(3) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the purpose of raising and expending funds in support of educational scholarships to deserving individuals, giving charitable donations to those in need and building a better community. For more information, visit: www.bluefinbonanza.org or email bluefinbonanza@gmail.com

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