(Aug. 23, 2019) Records continue to be broken annually during the Capt. Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open, and this year was no different.

“It went fantastic,” said Earl Conley, co-director of the Open. “There were no complaints, everything went smoothly and fishing was pretty good.”

A record 925 female anglers fished on 184 boats during the 26th annual tournament, held last weekend. A total of $269,940 – a new tournament record – was presented to the winners.

That’s about a $40,000 increase from 2018, when $229,565 was paid out with 149 boats registered.

Perhaps the most talked about accomplishment was Kristy Frashure reeling in a 74.5-pound dolphin aboard Haulin N’ Ballin, last Friday. The catch was a new Maryland state record.

To top it all off, Poor Girls Open organizers presented a check for $140,000 to American Cancer Society representatives during the tournament awards banquet at Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the inlet, last Sunday.

“When you tie a cause to an event you can definitely see how it affects people,” Conley said.

“This is a group that does not rest on past accomplishments. They motivate the community to get behind the cause of finding cures for breast cancer,” said Mary Bellis, senior community development manager, Northeast Region, for the American Cancer Society Inc. “The Harman family is just amazing. The work that goes into the tournament during the busy summer months is a tremendous gift.”

Since 2005, the total donated to the American Cancer Society by the Harman family through the tournament and other events is over $1.1 million.

“This was another outstanding tournament,” Bellis said. “This was the largest number of anglers in the history of the event. Even the challenging [rainy] weather on Wednesday did not keep folks from coming out to register.”

The tournament did offer online registration for the first time this year. About 50 teams signed up online.

Conley said the process will be tweaked and improved for next year, where teams will have a separate line on final registration day to pick up their tournament information and gifts.

The DA Sea crew took first place in the billfish release division with five white marlin releases. The ladies won $140,270.

The C Boys team released four white marlins, the last at 11:13 a.m. The group was awarded $33,402.

The No Quarter team released four white marlins, the last at 2:16 p.m., to finish in third place. The anglers were presented $22,268.

Frashure’s state-record dolphin took top honors in the division. She and her Haulin N’ Ballin teammates received $13,447.50.

Jody Eid’s 40.2-pound dolphin she landed on Talkin’ Trash finished in second place. The team won $7,168.50.

Christine Fried caught a 23.2-pound dolphin aboard Seek and Destroy. The fish was worth $4,779.

Brooke Moretz landed a 65.3-pound tuna at 10:41 a.m. to take first place in the division. She and her Marli teammates were awarded $12,772.

Brandi Carr caught her 65.3-pound tuna at 2:40 p.m. aboard Reel Chaos, to come in second place. She was presented a check for $6,763.

Cabana angler Carlie Carey picked up a 64.9-pound tuna. The group received $4,509.

Ginger Fleming reeled in a 69.7-pound wahoo while fishing on Restless Lady II. The fish was worth $12,030.

Bar South angler Michelle Espinosa caught a 47.8-pound wahoo. The team won $6,318.

Bonnie Asquith hooked a 30.5-pound wahoo aboard Rhonda’s Osprey. The crew took home $4,212.

The top junior angler of the tournament was AnnaBelle Schiavino. She caught seven dolphins while fishing on Ringleader and was presented $2,000 and rod and reel.

This was the first tournament without Kathleen Harman, who passed away on July 23 at the age of 92.

“It was all in Kathleen’s memory this year,” Conley said.

In 2004, the tournament was renamed to honor the founder of the event, the late Capt. Steve Harman.

He and his wife, Pam, started the Poor Girls Open in 1994 to provide women with an opportunity to compete for prizes and money in a ladies-only tournament, and to raise money for local charities. Harman died in February 2004, so organizers thought it was appropriate the tournament be renamed in his memory.

Women enjoy fishing in the tournament because it benefits a worthy cause — breast cancer research. Many cancer survivors participate in the event.

Proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society and earmarked for breast cancer research and program development as part of the “Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series” – an assortment of local activities to raise breast cancer awareness while garnering money for the organization.

“The funds raised will support the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives. This includes programs and services for breast cancer patients and survivors, information on prevention, screening and treatment,” Bellis said. “Most of the funds will support research. The American Cancer Society is currently funding 160 breast cancer-related grants totaling more than $64.3 million. Since 1989, breast cancer deaths are down 40 percent in the U.S.”

The Open is the first event of the Pink Ribbon Classic at the Beach Series.

Most of the events will take place in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Other events this year include a card game and party; mah-jongg and golf tournaments; Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk and run; pickleball round robin; and the Pamper Yourself For Charity Raffle.

For more information and to register for events, visit www.pinkribbonclassicevents.org.

The Pink Ribbon Classic Series was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers. Since its inception, the series has raised about $3.6 million for breast cancer research, awareness, programs and services.

Some of the local programs and services available in this area include free wigs for patients and Road to Recovery, which connects local drivers with patients to transport them to and from treatment.

There is also the Hope Lodge, which provides lodging during treatment; Cancer Survivors Network available at www.cancer.org, a 24-hour-a-day cancer information center; and 1-800-227-2345 for patients to access ACS services.

In addition, resources for caregivers, information on screening and prevention, and referral to local, regional and national outlets is available.

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