October 21, 2002                   

15th Lopiccola Marlin Tournament Pushes Total
Contributions to Cancer Center to Over $1 Million

The 15th annual "For Pete' Sake" Memorial Marlin Tournament, the largest and most successful charity marlin tournament on the West Coast, was held October 10 through 12 at the Hacienda Beach Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Proceeds of the annual tournament benefit the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

While the figures from this year's event are not yet finalized, event officials say proceeds from the recent event will push the grand total of contributions over the $1 million mark. These dollars are matched by the Cancer Center Director and are also frequently matched through grants, so the contributions are leveraged at least 2 to 1.

This year's tournament, in which 100 percent of all billfish were released, was an approved qualifying tournament for the Rolex International Game Fish Association Offshore Championship.

First place winner was the Gaviota II Team of Alan Aden, Mike Flora and Richard Mullin, who released three blue marlin; second place winner was the Amigo Team with Fred Dillet releasing two blue and two striped marlin; and third place winner was the Black Jack Team of Kyle Eggers and Roger Reemelin releasing two blue and two striped marlin.

Foundation Chairman Chuck Faith and Beachmaster Tom Nielsen, who both lost their fathers to cancer, presented the Dad's Trophies for the largest non-billfish caught. First place winner was Mark Pagels, Jr., with a 196-pound yellow fin tuna; second place winner was Hal Cooswell, with a 154-pound yellow fin tuna; and third place winner was Mark Pagels, Sr., with an 88-pound yellow fin tuna.

During the awards banquet, Cancer Center Director David Tarin, M.D., Ph.D., thanked the Lopiccola Foundation for its generosity and emphasized the importance of the group's contributions. He cited a recent discovery by a young UCSD researcher of a new drug combination that kills leukemia cells. This work was made possible in part by an earlier Lopiccola research fellowship. Tarin said he believes many more discoveries and successes will come from the generous help of the Lopiccola Foundation.

Tournament Director Robert "Tuna" Shannon, President Donald Middleton, Chuck Faith and Tom Nielsen led this year's tournament.

The "For Pete's Sake" Memorial Marlin Tournament was founded in honor of Pete Lopiccola, a boat captain and avid fisherman who lost his life to leukemia in 1988, just two days before his 30th birthday. The tournament raises money to support cancer research, and has adopted the motto "Fishing for a Cure." The Foundation also contributes a portion of the tournament proceeds to help children in Cabo San Lucas who have medical needs.

The Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of just 40 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest ranking awarded to cancer centers by the federal government. As such, it is recognized as one of the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, and providing advanced patient care. The center's mission is to translate promising scientific discoveries into new and better options for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and the amelioration of pain. For more information, visit http://cancer.ucsd.edu.

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