In 1984, under the leadership of Virginia Blades, whose husband owned Jack Blades Tackle Shop, along with a small group of Brigantine, New Jersey women who enjoyed fishing organized a fishing event solely for women. This small group of lady anglers formed the Ladies Invitational Bluefish Tournament and during those early years, its fundraising efforts benefited the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in New Jersey.
In the early years there were less than a dozen boats participating in the tournament and Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Farley Marina was the only designated weigh station. Although the tournament was then small in size, it was apparent to those participating that it was “great” in spirit and could each year grow in size.
In the early 1990’s a group of Trump Marina Hotel & Casino employees began volunteering their time and they took over the management of the event, establishing Trump Marina as the home of the L.I.B.T. banquet.
By the mid 1990’s, the leadership again changed hands. This new group of ambitious volunteers decided since the tournament consisted of female anglers they decided to focus on helping women in the surrounding counties. In collaboration with AtlantiCare, the L.I.B.T. committed their fundraising efforts by supporting the AtlantiCare Mammography and Diagnostic Fund, which would provide early detection breast cancer screening to women residing in Atlantic, Cape May and Southern Ocean Counties.
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