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Special Awards, Auctions Highlight Awards

Jackpot champion gives from the heart; quick works saves heart attack victim

CABO SAN LUCAS, BCS ˜ There were two times when much of the crowd at the awards ceremony got to its feet to applaud the actions of those involved in the Western Outdoor News Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament sponsored by Mercury.One of those came when Lloyd Collyer came up on the stage to accept the
Peter J. painting he had just spent $4,300 to buy. Collyer credited the Lord with his victory and said he had committed to making the winning bid on the painting no matter the price. It wasn‚t just the $4,300 Collyer had just provided to the Cabo San Lucas Fire Department that won the crowd‚s approval. Earlier, upon
accepting the $105,560 check for the biggest tuna in the tournament, Collyer had donated $8,000 to directly benefit two Cabo San Lucas children.

Minerva Smith, who with husband Bob owns and operated Minerva‚s tackle shop in Cabo, said the money would be administered through the Pete Loppicola Foundation to treat a local leukemia victim and would provide the final funds to make an operation possible for another child. „I have been assured by the doctor that the operation on Paulina will allow her to walk for the first time,‰ Smitht old the awards dinner attendees.

The other standing ovation came when tournament director Kit McNear and API‚s Enrique Fernandez de Castillo acknowledged the quick work of tournament staffer Mike Packard, Port Captain Marco Antonio Ochoa and Enrique‚s assistant in saving the life of heart attack victim Chuck Johnson. Due to their efforts and the rapid response of the Mexican Navy, a helicopter was dispatched to the Ex Artica and Johnson received the medical attention necessary to keep him alive.Both moments were nice touches to add to the glow of another successful cooperation between citizens of neighboring countries.

- Rich Holland