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MAD Charleston 2016 Event Summary

The Charleston Chapter of Military Appreciation Day, Inc. would like to thank the 39 brave captains who put 110 Active Duty Troops on the water on a chilly November morning, and made our event another huge success.  Boat captains left from 5 different ramps around Charleston County, and we were able to have pier captains and Troops at the Mt. Pleasant and Folly Beach piers.  Adventure Harbor Tours used their big pontoon boat to transport surf captains and Troops to fish the beach on Morris Island.

Friday evening at the Captains Meeting, each Captain received a newly minted MAD Charleston Chapter ”Commemorative Coin”.   A spectacular spaghetti dinner was provided by LG’s / Hanahan’s, and we had music by “Old Dogs, New Tricks”.  After supper, we were blessed to have Mr. John Polosky give us a brief history lesson of MAD.

Saturday evening before dinner, we gathered the troops outside for a group photo, and while we had the them still, the captains were able to hand out MAD Charleston coins to their Troops.  After a quick prayer, everyone was treated to a hot and delicious  BBQ dinner provided by the Pioneer Smokers, and music from Fat Alice”.

We had twenty-two door prizes for the Troops: four sets of cornhole boards (they were signed underneath by the captains and crew Friday night) and eighteen rod & reel combos.

We would like to thank Carolina Composites for their continued support, and Rivers Edge Marina for hosting our event again.  Thanks to Mark Hood for building the cornhole boards, and Hadrell’s Point & Penn who made the rod and reel give-away possible.  Thank you also to Adventure Harbor Tours, SAIC, Way Back Burgers, Sign It Quick, Lowcountry Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Ritt Ritter, Nick Verano, and those who traveled from Virginia and North Carolina for their support of MAD Charleston 2016.

We look forward to seeing everyone at MAD 2017 Charleston, which will be on Veterans Day, November 11, 2017.

Harle (3)

Pelto (2)


thomason (10)

Lassiter (9)



Pelto (5)

MAD 2015 Charleston: Event Summary


MAD 2015 Charleston Chapter Event Summary

One. Simple. THANKS. That was our message to the Troops!

To the captains, volunteers, donors, our fellow MAD Chapter members and supporters, the MAD Charleston Chapter would like thank you for making our inaugural event a huge success, consisting of 34 boats providing 82 Troops with a great day of fishing.

If you did not attend, here’s what you missed:

Friday’s Captains’ Meeting started with a brief history of MAD and a few rules were announced.  In the crowd were two SCDNR officers who presented a “Governor’s Proclamation” declaring Saturday, November 14, 2015 as Military Appreciation Day in the State of South Carolina.  We were very humbled to receive such an honor; thank you Gov. Nikki Haley.  After the meeting, we dined on some fresh subs and wraps, washed them down with sweet tea, and watched a beautiful fall sunset.

Saturday morning started off cool and our captains faced high northeast winds, making fishing extremely difficult. Despite the added challenge, at 7:04 am we had our first report of the day, a 22″ trout. Other captains were able to find the fish; Troops caught and released speckled trout, weakfish, redfish, sheepshead, black drum, bluefish, black sea bass, and more.  On shore, our volunteers passed the time with cornhole, posting incoming photos from captains, and preparing for the arrival of hungry captains and troops.  Mid-afternoon, one of the best cooking teams in town, the Pioneer Smokers, rolled in.  Slowly, captains and troops began arriving back at Rivers Edge Marina.  At 5:15, huge portions of pulled pork, smoked beef brisket, green beans, smoked mac’n’cheese, dirty rice, and homemade tater salad were served.  By 6:30, over 120 souls with tired arms and smiling faces had been served a superb meal.  Once again, we were treated to a fantastic sunset as the day ended.

Our out-of–town help included Lewes, DE Chapter President Hector Reyes, who traveled the furthest, 600 miles, to be there to support us. We were very honored to have Mr. John Polosky, one of the original four MAD founders, travel from Harkers Island, NC to show his support.  Tidewater, VA Chapter Vice President A.J. Cole came to lend assistance on the tech side with the rolling slide show of the day’s catches.  In addition we had help from Master Boat Coordinator Scott Krieger (Sandford, NC), Julie Williams (Henderson, NC), Mike Stein (Morehead, NC), and David Call (Southport, NC).

“THANK YOU” to Tracey Nelson at Rivers Edge Marina for promoting and hosting the event.  The biscuits he dropped off early Saturday morning were a wonderful addition!  And he invited us back for next year…

“THANK YOU” to our other Supporters;

SEATOW Charleston, Charleston Sign & Banner, Prowess Sportfishing, WEST Marine, SC Sportsman Magazine, and Coastal Angler Magazine.

One huge hurdle we jumped was a “special fishing license waiver” we obtained exempting the troops from purchasing a one day license.  “THANK YOU” to our Board Member George McDonald in Fort Mill, SC.  He was responsible for working with SCDNR in Columbia. Thank you Mr. Alvin Taylor, Director of SCDNR.  This event could not have happened without the waiver!

Our MAD Charleston Chapter event was the last of five MAD events that are spread over four states.  We have identified areas where we can improve our future events, and need to find new supporters and volunteers.  We’ll start planning MAD 2016 Charleston soon and if you’d like to join a growing team of energetic volunteers, do not hesitate to contact us.  Please follow us on our MAD web site (, “like” us on Facebook (, and tell your friends.  Next year we anticipate the boat numbers to double. That means more troops get to go fishing and that’s what this event is all about.

If you would like to download photos from the event, please go to

Once again, thank you for your support of our United States of America Military troops.  These men and women put their lives on the line for us.  Please remember to thank them each time you see them.


Charleston Chapter Team Members:

Gene Morrison, President
Andy Bajoczky, Vice President
Chris Coates, Boat Coordinator
Janet Charbonneau, Treasurer
George McDonald, Board Member





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MAD 2015 Lewes: After Action Report

Great MAD history continues
I want to say THANK YOU to all volunteers, donors and supporters that once again made MAD 2015 Lewes a total success, with a show of appreciation to our Honored Military guests and their families.
I also want to send a BIG MAD THANK YOU to our fellow MAD Chapter members who traveled to support our Delaware event;

A.J. Cole – Tidewater Chapter
Tena Craft and Julie Booth – Morehead Chapter
and David Call – Southport Chapter.

At our Captains meeting we had the pleasure to share great deli snacks and door prizes, provided buy our great donors and supporters and we also had the honor to recognize our local Sea Tow Captain for his support in last year’s event.
On Fishing day once again the high winds presented a challenge to our fleet of volunteer boat captains, but the great spirit of the day was not defeated as 18 boat captains and 11 kayaks along with seven kayak guides gave all their best to find some inshore spots and put our honored guests on some good fishing spots. At 11:30am some spouses, children and volunteers boarded the Cape Water Taxi and had what many called a great educational experience of our beautiful inland Bays Eco systems. At our BBQ celebration we had the honor to pay tribute to our leading founder Rodney Carroll and provide our troops with a great BBQ meal with door prizes and great musical entertainment by Judy Sings the Blues .

Our MAD 2015 season now continues to its final event at the Charleston, SC inaugural event.
See you in Charleston!

Hector Reyes
Chapter President
MAD Lewes Delaware

See more photos of MAD 2015 Lewes in our Albums page.

MAD 1 Lewes (2014): After Action Report

I now want to take time to THANK each and every one that helped and contributed to making MAD1 Lewes a success. To each committee member, volunteer boat Captains, general volunteers and our donors and supporters I THANK YOU for our great success in Delaware.

From Left to Right Jim Clark, Boat Committee; Hector Reyes, Chapter President;
Charlie Jerrell “CJ’, Food & Beverage Committee, Judy Mangini, Public Relations;
Christina Earns, Fundraising and Bill Baker, Jr. Chapter vice President.

Let me quote one of my most favorite statements made last year by our Chairman of the Board:

    “When we started planning for the very first Military Appreciation Day event back in 2006, we had a fairly simple idea. The idea was to find a way to thank some very amazing people for all they do for our country. We wanted to thank them for their personal sacrifice, for their dedication to keeping us safe and free and also to celebrate the accomplishments they have achieved. While the men and women of the United States Military are without question the most amazing force in the world, there is a unique parallel that after eight years of MAD is becoming more and more obvious. That realization is that our volunteers and donors are also an amazing force. Because of your hard work, generosity and support, Military Appreciation Day is now the largest, all volunteer “take our troops fishing” event in the world”.

    “Without you, MAD could never accomplish our mission of One, Simple, THANKS! On behalf of the Board of Directors at Military Appreciation Day, Inc., and our volunteers all across the country, thank you for your support and for continuing to be a part of the MAD family!”

We are looking forward to our continued growth in the season to come.


Hector Reyes
Chapter President

MAD 9 Southport

October 26, 2014
By Chris Franks, President Southport NC Chapter, Military Appreciation Day

After a delay from September to October because of bad weather, MAD Southport/Oak Island is in the books.

The Captain’s Meeting on Friday October 17 went well for all of those attending. For the approximately 75 people that were there the food was great and the fellowship even better. The evening was made even better when it was found that Scott Ks’ grandson was able to come home.

The evening ended with a raffle for 2 custom gaffs made especially for MAD South. A big surprise for MAD was when Sam Edwards brought in 2 copper fish, 1 grouper and 1 king mackerel, that had been made by a local artist. He offered them for, as he said, “Since I am not going fishing, I had the money to do it”.

Saturday morning brought the troops to our door and captains ready to put them on the fish. It also brought a fairly stiff wind.

Our final tally for the morning was 40 boats and 76 troops. Far less that our records, but every one counts.

There were some last minute cancellations and some shuffling of troops onto other boats, but all of the troops that made it down were able to get out.

Those first few boats that made their way to fish off of Oak Island were met by some sporting conditions. Listening to the radio, and reports from later on, made it clear that any who ventured that way were in for a rough time. Many of the boats then made the trip up the Cape Fear River to Carolina Beach where the sea conditions were more favorable.

Once everyone was able to make it to their fishing locations, there were some mixed results. Some landed on a few fish while some had to work at it. All of the captains were giving it their all to put their troops onto the fish.

The fish that made it back to the docks were varied and there were many undersized fish released. All of those that I spoke to had plenty of opportunity to land fish and had a great time on the water.

Once the troops were back at Southport Marina, a meal of hamburgers and hotdogs was waiting. There was plenty for them to eat and the volunteers made sure that not a single troop went home less that stuffed.

While the postponement and weather made for a challenging event, all went very well. As usual we wish to give the troops One. Simple. Thanks. For all that they do and invite them back again for next years event.

Also none of this would not be possible without the support of ALL of our volunteers. Finally our great appreciation goes out to all of our supporting businesses.




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