The First Annual Marlins for Mason Billfish Release Tournament was held August 4th and 5th in Ocean City, Maryland with all proceeds from the event being donated to the Dravet Syndrome Foundation (DSF). Marlins for Mason is a non-profit marlin release tournament created by Amanda Prather (mother of Mighty Mason, Dravet Syndrome Warrior) and a committee of dear family friends to raise money and awareness for Dravet syndrome. Their mission is to “Catch A Cure for Dravet”!
The inaugural Marlins for Mason tournament was a huge success. This event raised $312,458 for DSF, making Marlins for Mason the largest single event donation DSF has ever received. This money will go directly towards research to find better treatment options. This large donation by Marlins for Mason would not have been possible without the support of their sponsors, donors and participants. The tournament had 90 sponsors, 68 boats fishing, 375 anglers, and hundreds of donors. The tournament consisted of two days of offshore fishing, a cocktail party, silent and live auction and an awards brunch. The turnout and support at each of these events was humbling.
Why Marlins for Mason? Marlins for Mason was launched because of Mighty Mason Prather, a 5-year-old Dravet warrior who lives in Ocean City, Maryland. Mason had his first seizure which lasted 45 minutes when he was 4 months old. Mason was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome at 7 months old. He suffers from frequent, severe and prolonged seizures, developmental delays, and has feeding and mobility issues. During his brief life, he has had hundreds of seizures, countless ER visits, and frequent hospitalizations. At 10 months old Mason had a 90-minute seizure, was intubated and almost lost his life to Dravet. It was at that time that Mason’s family realized truly how fragile Mason’s life is and how desperately better treatment options and a cure are needed for Mason and the other Dravet warriors who suffer from this catastrophic, life shattering condition. Mason spent years on the ketogenic diet, he has tried all the best medications, and he has seen the top Dravet specialist in the country. Yet despite doing all of these things Mason still suffers every day, if not from seizures from the other complications associated with Dravet. This is why Mason’s family and friends are on a mission to raise money to provide more money to hopefully someday have better treatment options available so he can live a life free of suffering.
Many people have asked why a fishing tournament? Mason’s family is highly involved in the local Ocean City fishing community and from early on in Mason’s diagnosis they have been fortunate to have an army of friends in the community cheering Mason on, celebrating the good days with them and supporting them during the hard times. So when deciding what type of event to do to raise money for DSF, it was an easy decision to have a fishing tournament in Mason’s honor.
When Mason was a baby his family envisioned Mason following in his family’s footsteps with lots of fishing offshore with his dad, grandfather, and uncles. However, after Mason began having seizures as many families with Dravet can understand, the dreams of what Mason could do have shifted. Although Mason’s daily life and future are much different then they envisioned, the Prather family works hard to give Mason the best life possible. They celebrate every good day and cherish every minute with Mason as they know how quickly life with Dravet changes. They are incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support they received for the first annual Marlins for Mason tournament and are excited to see how the tournament grows over the years.
To learn more, visit the Marlins for Mason website.
To donate to Marlins for Mason, visit the event site at this link.