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Fins Weekend Creates Lasting Memories While Raising Millions For A Good Cause

Posted Jun 3, 2014

The annual event has raised more than $3 million through the years for local charities, and the 2014 edition will take place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Fins Weekend is a three-day extravaganza that brings together Dolphins players, coaches, alumni and cheerleaders with their fans for some golf, fishing and festivities. It also happens to be the Miami Dolphins Foundation’s largest annual event.

Fins Weekend has raised more than $3 million through the years for local charities, and the 2014 edition will take place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“It’s good,” said defensive end Olivier Vernon. “You get to interact with everybody that you don’t see while we’re in the building and (it’s good) to see the support and the guys really care about our organization and players as well.”

The activities begin on Thursday with the Celebrity Draw Party at the Miami Beach Golf Course. Each team of three players will complete their foursome and select their celebrity captain for the tournament. The Celebrity Draw Party also features interactive chipping, putting, sand and pitch shot contests for outstanding prizes.

The party will include cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres, and feature appearances by current and former Dolphins players and cheerleaders.

On Friday, Dolphins players, coaches and alumni hit the greens at the Miami Beach Golf Course for the Fins Weekend Golf Tournament presented by Waste Management. Teams will tee off with an 8:30 am shotgun start, playing a four-person shamble format. The golf portion of Fins Weekend concludes with an awards luncheon to announce the winners.

Friday night, the popular Hook & Tackle Captains’ Party, which will feature a silent auction and entertainment, will take place at the Miami Beach Marina.

On Saturday morning, amateur and professional anglers will meet at the Miami Beach Marina for the Miami Dolphins Foundation Fishing Tournament presented by South Florida Chevy Dealers.

Now in its 18th year, the Miami Dolphins Foundation Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament is a one-day, off-shore tournament featuring fishing for dolphin, wahoo, kingfish and tuna. Miami Dolphins players, coaches and alumni participate in the prestigious sport fishing event of the year, where unique prizes are awarded for the largest fish in each category and for the greatest combined weight of eligible fish per boat.

In the afternoon, fishing participants and spectators will gather for the tournament weigh-in presented by Hooters. Captain Rick Murphy, the host of “Florida Insider Fishing Report,” will emcee the weigh-in ceremonies along with Dolphins punter Brandon Fields and Dolphins radio analyst Joe Rose.

“I want to encourage (fans) to come out and not only see the players, but to see the fish being weighed in at (4 p.m.) on Saturday,” Murphy said. “That’s the cool part. Not everybody is going to be there all at one point because of the staggering start. It’s going to be a great event and people need to make sure they come to participate with that because they don’t have to have a ticket for that, they can show up and just enjoy the festivities.”

The first-place team will win a trip on the team charter to a Dolphins road game. That evening, attendees will gather for an awards ceremony presented by the Islands of the Bahamas to find out who walked away with the biggest catch. There also will be a live auction, including a first-ever 22-foot Contender Open Fisherman.

Here’s what some Dolphins players had to say about Fins Weekend:

• Linebacker Koa Misi: “I haven’t missed a fishing trip since I’ve been out here, so I’ll probably be out there fishing. It’s a lot of fun. I seem to get on a boat that doesn’t catch too many fish, but hopefully this year it’ll change.”

• Wide receiver Rishard Matthews: “Last year I golfed, but I’m not really a big golfer. They definitely go out there and compete. But I had a good time and just interacting with everybody and getting to know all the people and just having a good time overall.”

• Cornerback Jamar Taylor: “It’s a good chance for the fellas to get out there and meet and greet with all the fans, people who played here, just get a good feel for the Dolphins community. ... The party, the meet and greet will be kind of good, the awards ceremony will be good for us guys to get down there and just really get to connect with different people around Miami.”

• Offensive tackle Branden Albert: “I’m excited to go out there and acclimate myself to the team and how we do things around here.”

• Safety Reshad Jones on what he likes best about Fins Weekend: “Camaraderie. It’s always good to go out and go have a good time with your brothers, the guys you work with every day, go out and have a good time. It should be a pretty cool event.”

• Defensive end Olivier Vernon: “Actually, I did the fishing (last) year. It wasn’t too fun, I got boat sick, seasick. Nah, it was a great event when I got over it, catching some fish. Got me a little sailfish. It’s pretty fun. First year I just did the Friday night. I’m going to do the fishing.”

For more information about Fins Weekend, call the Community Affairs department at (305) 943-7200 or visit www.finsweekend.com.

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