Beneficiaries of the eighth annual Tofino Saltwater Classic fundraising fishing derby gathered at Tofino Resort and Marina on Friday, Aug. 18 for a cheque ceremony. Derby founder Brendan Morrison and his team handed out about $80,000 worth of cheques to local community initiatives. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Tofino Saltwater Classic funds awarded

“Without this money, we would not be able to run this program.”

Brendan Morrison and the Tofino Saltwater Classic team doled out hefty cheques on Friday afternoon at Tofino Resort and Marina to representatives from 12 local community initiatives.

This year’s beneficiaries are: Wickaninnish Community School, Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, Tofino Hospital Foundation, Tofino Recreation Commission, Westcoast Multiplex Society, Raincoast Education Society, Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Society, Tofino Legion Branch 65, St. Francis of Assisi Women’s Support Program, Community Children’s Centre, Tofino Volunteer Fire Department, and the Tofino Community Food Program.

School principal Drew Ryan and members of PAC accepted a $20,000 cheque for the school lunch program.

“A huge thank you to Tofino Saltwater Classic and of course Brendan Morrison and his family,” said Ryan. “Without this money, we would not be able to run this program. This is going directly to feed the kids nutricious, wholesome foods.”

Tofino Hospital Foundation chair Arlene McGinnis accepted a cheque for $5,000.

“I’d really like to thank Saltwater Classic and Brendan Morrison for their ongoing support of the Foundation. It’s very much appreciated. We hope to put this money towards 20 bedside heart monitors,” said McGinnis.

Samantha Hackett was grateful to receive a $5,000 contribution towards the construction of the West Coast Multiplex.

“Thank you so much for the support,” she said. “This is going towards the rec. centre out at Airport Road; phase one the rink and phase two the pool.”

The Tofino Saltwater Classic (TSC) broke the event’s annual fundraising record, by raising more than $80,000.

Since its inception eight years ago, TSC has reeled in over $430,000 to support various Tofino community initiatives. TSC host and former NHLer Brendan Morrison praised the dedicated team of volunteers and business for helping run such a successful event.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to exceed our fundraising goals again and to continue to give back to the community of Tofino in such a measurable way,” Morrison said.

“Even though the derby supports the things you would expect anglers to care about – like salmon enhancement – it is our support for Tofino’s youth programs that I am most proud of.”