And the Winner Is...

Congratulations Andy McCurdy! With a single ticket donation at A very happy winner, Andy sits in his new skiff for the very first time.a West Marine grand opening in Ft. Myers, Andy is now the owner of a truly one-of-a-kind David Gause Built 17' skiff. 

On the afternoon of Sunday Feb 17, Andy was in his shop doing 'weekend work' when his phone rang. "I didn't recognize the number, so I let it go to voice mail. Then I saw the text that came right after the call, so I listened to the message." He called back to SGF Managing Director Brett Fitzgerald's cell, who confirmed the amazing news. Indeed, Andy had won the skiff of a lifetime.

Andy later confessed he felt like Steve Martin from an old SNL skit as he stood in the middle of his workshop and he tried to contain his excitement during the phone call, which included a “thank you and congratulations” from SGF Executive Director Rick Roberts, who drove from Sanford to Miami to witness the moment.

Andy made plans to drive over to Miami and pick up his boat directly from the show, and the next afternoon he and his family were on site, winning ticket in hand. His wife Carol said Andy looked at his ticket every day. “It has been in his bedside table Andy kept his ticket in his bedside table, where he could see it every day.where he keeps his keys and wallet, so he saw it every morning.”

Recalling the day he donated at the West Marine event, Andy knew that the Boat winner would be drawn in February. “I thought, perfect, I’ll get the boat around my birthday.”  He said the boat had pulled quite a crowd at the event: “I was drawn to the boat just like everybody else that was standing there gawking. Then I heard that the donation went to the Snook & Gamefish Foundation, so I figured it was a win-win no matter the results.”

Andy’s daughter told me that he had a traditional way he would give a ticket some extra mojo before allowing it to be tossed into the bucket with thousands of other tickets. Since he confessed he has never won anything like this before, maybe it wasn’t his mojo that did the trick, but it certainly seems like the boat couldn’t have gone to a better owner.

Living right at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, the Gause-Built skiff will get plenty of action in the years to come. “I’ve been boating since I was 14, and it has become part of who our family is.” Andy’s business, Impact Ready Inc (http://www.impact-readyinc.com/), has established him in the community as someone who provides “peace of mind” as he retrofits doors and windows to hurricane standards. Now he will be able to enjoy his own peace of mind in his amazing new craft.Andy's family sharing his big win at the Miami International Boat Show. From left, Son-in-law Brandon, Andy's wife Carol, Andy, daughter Katie Jo, daughter Kimberly, and son Andrew.

 Andy said he is looking forward to getting reacquainted with his section of the river, and also wants to start fishing for different targets, such as permit. But the overall experience of being on the water is what Andy appreciates the most, especially sharing these experiences with his family and friends. “Thinking about all the years of boating, the greatest thing was watching everyone see all the new things in wildlife.  That gives me more excitement than I could possibly describe.”

Cheers Andy. And again, congratulations. It was a thrill for all of us at SGF to see this boat go to such a beautiful family. We’ll see ya on the water soon.