Subscribe Online Now!

Smiles Foundation's children are again beneficiary of fundraising for surgeries


Last year $25,000, was raised by fun events and charters, Minerva's clothing sales, auctions for cleft pallet surgeries


BY PAT McDONELL
Director, Cabo Tuna Jackpot

While the Tuna Jackpot is not a charity event, every year since 1999 the children of Baja have benefited in some way through on-site fundraising.


DR. JEFF MOSES, Smiles director, and his wife Maribel Moses, foundation director, at the tourney awards dinner. Clothing sales by Minerva's Tackle, two Cabo Escape Start Boat Charters, a silent auction for a trip to Kingfisher Lodge in Alaska, a pair of gold and silver tuna pendants by John Pettey Goldsmith (Tustin) and artwork and a grand raffle were all part of the fun ways to raise money over four days. Seen here is Dr. Jeff Moses, Smiles director, and his wife Maribel Moses, foundation director, at the tourney awards dinner.

The emphasis is on fun, and the ways we raise money are not arm-twisting, buy are part of the event in subtle, fun ways.

To be sure, 'Smiles' changes lives, and the Cabo Tuna Jackpot anglers and sponsors have embraced the Smiles International Foundation these past five years. Last year, nearly $25,000 was raised for the charity over four days in Cabo.

Dr. Jeff Moses and his wife Maribel, the foundation's executive director, were again on hand at the event to answer questions about the work being down in Costa Rica and Mexico over more than three decades.

SmilesInternationalFoundation.org is the designated charity of the CTJ and performs cranial and facial surgeries to correct cleft palette deformities on poor Baja children at two Cabo clinics as other locales like Tecate. Every cent raised goes to surgical supplies. No funds are used for admin costs. U.S. doctors and other medical personnel pay for their own flights and take vacation time to perform the work. Two week prior to the tourney, the one-week clinic performed surgeries on 75 children at a local hospital.

In 2019 Minerva's Tackle produced official t-shirts and hats and buffs sold at the event for the third straight year, and the donation was again in the $5,000 range by Minerva and Bob Smith. It is a huge and generous undertaking.

So many people gave their time and donations. Dave and Amy Bulthuis of Costa sunglasses (he is now with Pure Fishing) raised well over $15,000 at the event in various ways over four days. In partnership with Western Outdoor News, there were two hosted start boat charters on the beautiful (and donated) Wild Tours' Cabo Escape at $30 each. There were also those anglers who provided direct donations, those who bought hundreds of $5 Grand Raffle tickets and those who won silent auctions for Jon Pettey Jewelry and Bill Boyce and Chuck Byron art at the awards dinner. The fundraising will continue to be directed to Smiles for 2019, at the 21st th annual event.

If interested more in the this foundation and its work, go to the Tuna Jackpot website at www.loscabostunajackpot.com and watch a video commissioned by Western Outdoor News/Cabo Tuna Jackpot, and read feature story on the incredible work done by the volunteers, all coordinated by Dr. Jeff Moses and his wife Maribel Moses with the help of the Cabo Rotary Club which arranges for lodging and meals for the families in Cabo.

It is amazing work and effort to help these children and families. It is hard to put a price tag on the effect these surgeries have on the lives of these children who have no other medical options. Learn more at smilesinternationalfoundation.org.