#039;Big C#039; fishes for Cystic Fibrosis

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2004

Those who know Colin 'Big C' MacGuire are aware of his outgoing personality.

So if you ask him how he did in Ken Stabler's Alabama Coastal Red Trout Celebrity Classic held last weekend in Orange Beach be prepared for a whale of a tale.

"It was hot, but it was fun," MacGuire said. "Our team did fairly well. We didn't do great, but we did alright."

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MacGuire partnered up with friend and University of Alabama alum Tom Byars and Captain Tim String of Orange Beach during the fishing tournament, which benefits cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects its victims from birth. There is no cure. Many cystic fibrosis children are living longer into their 30's today thanks to advances in research and therapy.

Captain Gary Ellis, former fishing guide for Red Sox great Ted Williams, started the tournament in 1984 to help raise money for cystic fibrosis research and therapy after finding out his daughter, Nicole, had the disease. The tournaments are held all over the U.S. and in the Caribbean.

Each angler that competed in the tournament raised money to benefit cystic fibrosis research. MacGuire solicited Greenville residents for funds and ended up raising $1,025. Byars said MacGuire's efforts to raise money for the event motivated other competitors to do better next year.

"His efforts were probably one of the more inspiring," Byars, who also serves as a member of the Stabler Alabama Coastal Red Trout Committee, said. "He's from a small town in south Alabama and raised more than $1,000 and challenged other people at the tournament to raise more money. He's a very encouraging person."

MacGuire said he is very appreciative to the people who donated money to the cause. He even had a donor serving in Iraq fighting against the War on Terrorism.

"I thought it was great," MacGuire said. "I want to thank everybody in Greenville that donated and the others from out of state."

A total of $65,000 was raised during the event, which featured 66 participants and 22 crews.

MacGuire caught a 3-pound redfish and a 2-pound ladyfish during the tournament.

"We had some bites early and could have caught more fish, but they didn't bite down hard enough," MacGuire said.