Fishing, Fun, and Fundraising

Boating and fishing have been lifelong passions for Hockey Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie Parent. Now he wants to share his enjoyment of these pursuits as a means of raising money -- and providing a unique opportunity -- for the kids involved in the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

On July 20, Parent will host the inaugural In-Shore Fishing Challenge in Cape May, NJ. Proceeds raised from the fishing tournament will benefit Snider Hockey
Additionally, a large number of Snider Hockey kids will have the opportunity to embark aboard the participating boats and go fishing. For most, it will be their first time to engage in either activity. 
The idea for the In-Shore Fishing Challenge originated with Parent himself. He wanted to do something personal on behalf of Snider Hockey -- a program that is dear to his heart -- by sharing his passion for the water with the public and the Snider Hockey kids themselves.
"I told Scott Tharp [Snider Hockey President/CEO] about my idea, and he thought it was great. So we started working on ideas for how to make it happen, and things came together to create the In-Shore Challenge that we're doing on the 20th," Parent said. 
The legendary goaltender is an ardent supporter of Snider Hockey's mission statement. Five days before the In-Shore Fishing Challenge, he will be a member of the Flyers Alumni Team at the 2018 Toyota Flyers Charity Classic. All proceeds raised by the Flyers Alumni will also go to Snider Hockey.
Parent proudly talks about the success that so many of the program's at-risk participants have achieved in ways that go far beyond hockey: academically, vocationally and in leading happy lives despite growing up under difficult circumstances in economically underprivileged communities.
"If you look at what Snider Hockey does --- it is all about giving opportunities to these kids -- and what these kids accomplish when they get the opportunities and the support, it's a beautiful thing. Hockey teaches you to be part of a team. You're not alone, and it takes a whole team to be a success. It teaches you about self-discipline. It boosts your confidence. And you have fun. These are the things, the lessons, that you take with you all your life," Parent said.
"So, with this fishing tournament, I wanted to give these kids a new opportunity; a new experience. There's magic in the water, and I want the kids to experience it. Plus we will raise a lot of money for the Snider Hockey program. It's going to be a great thing."
Parent said that, when he meets with Snider Hockey kids, he can see the influence of the program's founder, the late Ed Snider. 
"When I first came to the Flyers in 1967, when I met with people, I would kind of look at the ground, make no eye contact. I will never forget this. Mr. Snider taught me to look people in the eye, give a firm handshake and to learn their name. I've done that ever since. Well, when you meet with these kids from Snider Hockey, they all do that. It's a big part of how you present yourself to be successful and confident," Parent said.
The In-Shore Fishing Challenge is a BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) event; however, boat rentals/charters are available and the cost can be deducted from the participation donation fee schedule. Unlimited anglers can participate. Depending on the weather and the boats, the boats will go about two to six miles off the marina.  
The available participation levels in the tournament vary, starting at a $1,000 donation for a single-boat entry. A full schedule of events, fees and tournament prizes is available here.
For those who are not interesting in the boating/fishing aspect of the event but would like to celebrate after the tournament with Bernie, the Snider Hockey contingent and the participating anglers, there are tickets available to a poolside BBQ celebration at the Canyon Club in Cape May (event starts at 4:30). 
With his trademark good humor, Parent shared his favorite fishing tale from his own years out on the water.
"Back in the '70s, we were doing some deep sea fishing and we caught a marlin -- 16 feet, 900 pounds --  after a long, long fight. That's something I will never forget. The marlin died on us and we had a marine biologist look at it. It was a female, 25 years old," Parent said.
Parent says that he never topped that catch, but he has a good excuse.
"See, the thing is, I never get to fish anymore. I'm always driving the boat!" Parent said with a chuckle.