Talon News - Good Local News



August 25, 2017

This past weekend a Bi-Fly Tournament fundraiser took place at the San Juan River. It benefited Navajo Ministries, formerly Navajo Missions. Navajo Ministries is a non-profit organization that oversees Four Corners Home for Children, Navajo Nation Outreach, and KNMI Vertical Radio (FM 88.9).

This particular fund raiser specifically benefits Four Corners Home for Children. It is a home dedicated to providing a safe and culturally sensitive place for displaced Native American children. Currently they are caring for children from approximately age three months old, to high school age. Children seem to thrive there, in a milieu that remains essentially constant. The youth have their own space and are able to decorate it to their own taste. The children become part of the Navajo Ministries family, often returning to visit, or even work within the organization. One of the former residents became a microbiologist, another, a graphic artist, still another, a social worker. There are many stories stemming from the home that reflects the vision of founder Jack Drake, who resigned from Navajo Methodist Mission School in 1952 to build a home for Native American children (navajoministries.org). That home is the Four Corners Home for Children, located at 2103 West Main in Farmington.

Like most non-profit organizations, Navajo Ministries, has experienced a hit during the economic downturn in the local economy. However, in their case, this fund-raiser has remained successful. Thankfully! Because this is the fund-raiser that infuses their budget at the end of summer, a time when donations are historically low.

Bob Fitz is the originator of the Bi-Fly Fishing Tournament. The fund raiser was formerly a golf tournament but interest was fading. Brainstorming with Dick Gerding and recognizing the growing notoriety of the San Juan River, Bob tried the fishing tournament. Dick credits the idea to Bob. Though, Bob shares that Dick has, “been my comrade since day one!” The first year there were five teams, Bob shares, “it started small but grew fast”. Now the tournament typically has approximately 30 teams. In addition to attracting avid fishermen, and women, there is a great loyalty among the participants. Many of the guides and participants return year after year.

Participants start with breakfast at Abe’s Restaurant and head out to Texas Hole. There are two days of fishing, one day of wading and one day fishing from a boat. A banquet wraps up the event where awards are given, and food and fun abound! This year’s tournament winners were Dr. Bo and Ben Herrera. There are door prizes, a raffle, and a silent, live and card auction. The food is provided by Outback Steakhouse, one of their sponsors. The other sponsors are San Juan Regional Medical Center, Citizens Bank, and San Juan Rotary Club.

This year surpassed all expectations in terms of fundraising. Bob commented, “When God does something, He does it big!” Past years proceeds have been approximately $60,000. Last year, surprisingly, they broke that record with $70,000. But this year totals indicate proceeds are just a few hundred shy of $80,000. The fundraising tournaments have raised over a million dollars over the 24 years. All proceeds stay in San Juan County benefiting the Four Corners Home for Children. If you want information about supporting the children’s home or next year’s tournament call Navajo Ministries at 505.325.0255.


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