Lionfish charity tournament held in Bahamas


Bimini Sands Resort & Marina on South Bimini in the Bahamas said its second annual Lionfish Bash, which was held July 13-15, helped to raise about $25,000 for The Woody Foundation, a Miami-based non-profit organization that was created to aid spinal injury patients.

A total of 345 lionfish were caught during the event, which was created in 2011 to raise awareness about lionfish, an invader species in the Bahamas/South Florida ocean ecosystem.

Participating in the Lionfish Bash for the second year was James "Woody" Beckham, 23, who grew up fishing and diving in the vibrant blue waters off Bimini. In January 2011 he sustained a spinal cord injury in a college rugby match that rendered him paralyzed from the chest down. Soon afterward, Beckham and his family created The Woody Foundation.

"The Lionfish Bash is a unique, family-oriented event that everyone seems to enjoy while falling in love with the beauty of Bimini," Woody Beckham said in a statement. "I was glad to get back over there to have another amazing Bimini adventure."

The money raised by this year's Lionfish Bash and its sendoff party, which was held July 12 in Miami, will be used to benefit the Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital in Miami and Shake-a-Leg Miami, Beckham announced.

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