Tampa attorney Steve Yerrid stunned the Chuck LaMar Grand Slam Tournament committee Monday night at Tropicana Field by donating a $100,000 check to jump-start this year’s charity event.Yerrid, a noted angler and one of the lead attorneys in the state’s tobacco lawsuits, provided the funds after meeting earlier with Devil Rays General Manager Chuck LaMar and tournament director Bill Miller of Tampa.
“This is probably the largest donation by a single individual in the history of fishing events.” said Miller. “We’re delighted to have Steve’s backing. This will at least double our donation to the kids this year, even without the added growth in other aspects of the tournament we have planned.”
The Mercury Marine-sponsored event follows a pro-am format, with anglers donating to the foundation in return for the opportunity to fish with sports and angling celebrities. Contributions last year were about $40,000.
Mercury Marine spokesperson Pete Johnson said the company, which also sponsors charity tournaments in South Florida, has been amazed at the rapid growth of the Tampa Bay area event.
“This tournament has really taken off for only being a year old,” Johnson said. “We expect it to be one of the premiere events in the nation in the future- maybe it already is.”