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Del Mar College annual fishing tournament exceeds goal despite challenges brought by the pandemic

The annual tournament, 'stringers for scholarships' raises scholarship money for students. Despite being cancelled because of the pandemic, money was still raised.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Del Mar College foundation cancelled their annual fishing tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic. The annual tournament raises scholarship money for students, but lots of folks still sent in donations to the college. In fact, they had a goal of $45,000 and they exceeded that.  

Stringers for scholarships is an annual fishing tournament that helps raise money for students who need financial assistance. The fundraiser draws hundreds of people making it a no-go in these COVID-19 pandemic times.
Matthew Busby, the Development Director for the Del Mar College Foundation says they had to find another way to get donations.

“This year we kind of took a twist and said, it's the one that got away, but we still extended an invitation to all of our anglers, to all of our sponsors to continue this year in a non-fishing way, but really just focus on helping students with scholarships,” said Busby.

Busby said there are millions of students in America who are just 500 dollars from dropping out of college and he doesn't want that to be the case on the campus of Del Mar.

“There's a lot of students that are right on that precipice who are facing obstacles in a great year,” said Busby. “This year, let alone any other year, they need our support.”

Students like Catherine Hillmer; Hillmer is 27-years-old and in her second semester at Del Mar. Hillmer said she wishes she could have started college earlier, but it didn't work out that way.

“Part of the reason I didn't go to college right away is because my parents couldn't financially afford it, said Hillmer. “I was so overwhelmed with the idea of taking out student loans or applying for the FAFSA and the whole nine."

Hillmer was awarded a scholarship through the Del Mar College Foundation. Hillmer said it's one less thing she has to worry about while living through a pandemic.

"I’m working and going to school and I just had a little girl, she turned two months at the end of August,” said Hillmer.

Hillmer said she going to school for business administration and the stringers scholarship fundraiser has received over 60,000 dollars in monetary donations this year.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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