It all started back in 2003 when the community learned that a good friend and colleague on the Outer Banks faced a very serious illness.
Taylor Harrison, a talented and respected boatbuilder, was losing his battle with cancer and members of the Dare County sportfishing family were devastated.
Soon after Harrison's death, friends John Bayliss and Mike Merritt discussed how they could help Harrison's two teenage children, Mallory and Alex, with their educational expenses. Merritt suggested starting a scholarship fund that was funded by an offshore fishing tournament featuring boats built in Dare County.
Thanks to these efforts, the short-term goal of raising money to cover Mallory and Alex Harrison's educational expenses had been achieved, and both children have successfully furthered their education.
After several successful tournaments, it was apparent that the efforts of our annual fundraiser needed to expand. In 2007, the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation formed in the spirit of helping families like the Taylors and beyond. Now, as a stand alone 501-C3 non-profit association, the Dare County Boat Builders Foundation's mission is to "develop, encourage and promote public awareness of the historical and cultural heritage of boat building in Dare County and to support educational opportunities for students."
We are thankful to Pirates Cove Big Game Tournaments and Marina and their willingness to host our annual tournament.