THE FREEDOM ALLIANCE
The Grouper Grapple was founded by Brian Peachey in 2013 as a means to give back to the community and show support to Combat Wounded Veterans that have served our country. The tournament itself started with just 16 boats in 2013, and has grown to 22 entries in 2014 and 35 entries in 2015.
By teaming with Freedom Alliance we have been able to turn the event into an actual vehicle that provides much needed therapy for combat wounded veterans returning from service.
Grouper Grapple and Freedom Alliance provide the veterans with transportation to and from the event, hotel accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursday - Sunday, Back Bay fishing trips, commemorative plaques, entry into the tournament and tournament events tournament, specialized apparel and a chance to join their brothers in arms in an atmosphere designed just for them!
Jeff Sommer Memorial Scholarship Fund
In addition to the Freedom Alliance we have added a beneficiary to our event for 2017. The Jeff Sommer Memorial Scholarship Fund.
We would like honor the memory of Coach Jeff Sommer of Estero High School and the positive impact that he had on hundreds of young people and adults. Brian Peachey, the founder of the Grouper Grapple Offshore Fishing Tournament was an all-star athlete who ran cross country and track for Coach Sommer from 1989-1993. Along with his fellow athletes, Coach Sommer pushed them to be their best taking them to the State meet where they were Runner up in 1991 and State Champions in 1992. Peachey was recognized as All Southwest Florida Cross Country Runner of the year during his time with Coach at Estero HS and has stayed close with Coach Sommer and his family throughout the years.
"Coach Jeff Sommer always told his cross country runners that pain is temporary and pride is for ever he instilled in us that nothing hurts compared to what it feels like to quit. He was a builder of leaders and people who would and could, quite literally, go the extra mile. He also taught me how to give. That's why we want to give back. " -Brian Peachey