May 21st Downtown Showdown KDW Offers $10,000 for Biggest Fish, Even More for Charity


A guaranteed cash prize of $10,000 is up for grabs to the angling team that catches the largest fish during the upcoming 2nd Annual Downtown Showdown in West Palm Beach on May 21. More than 500 anglers are expected to compete in the event, hosted by members of the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team and Southern Fishing Charities, John Jackson, John Mitchell and Grant Portier.


Last year’s inaugural event paid out $30,000 in cash prizes and gave $15,000 to charity. The event was launched to honor the group’s friend and fellow angler Scott Terry. This year’s event is expected to be one of the biggest fishing tournaments ever held in South Florida and will have free, fun activities for the entire family. The tournament will feature many other attractions, including live music, food vendors, a kids’ zone, an Invitational Wing Competition and a Classic and Custom Muscle Car Show.

As a tribute to Scott Terry, proceeds from the Downtown Showdown will go to Lauren’s Kids, a non-profit organization that educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention. It will also support Paws for Veterans and Boy Scouts of America.


“Lauren’s Kids is incredibly proud to be a part of the Downtown Showdown for the second year in a row and to honor the memory and legacy of a courageous man, our friend Scott Terry,” said Lauren Book, founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids.

Southern Fishing Charities

Earlier this year, we featured Team Tito’s Fishing Team on the Frigibar Blog. Their philanthropic efforts have resulted in fun fishing tournaments and tens of thousands of dollars for charity. “Personally, I feel like I’ve been very fortunate in my life to do what I’ve done and see what life has given me,” says Tito’s John Mitchell. “Anytime you can help somebody and give somebody a fighting chance; I believe they deserve that.”
Frigibar President Shuly Oletzky is also on the Downtown Showdown board, helping to plan and raise awareness for the event that promises to be a favorite among local and regional anglers.
The event as a whole is open to all and free. Registration for the tournament is now open. Register for $350 on the official registration page for the 2nd Annual Downtown Showdown KDW. We hope to see you there!

From Fishing for Profit to Nonprofit Angling: Southern Fishing Charities

“We are naturally giving and like to make sure people are taken care of. Deserving people deserve good things.” – John Mitchell

With nationally televised events, competitive fishing has made its way into the mainstream. The average viewer now has a look at what fishing tournaments are all about…or do they?

While events like the Bassmaster Elite Series have prizes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and people tuning in to follow the event from around the world, the majority of fishing tournaments don’t offer life-changing rewards or even cash prizes of any size. To most competitive fishing teams and individual anglers, it’s about much more than financial gain, trophies, or publicity gained from being shown on television.

Southern Fishing CharitiesJohn Mitchell and John Jackson (JJ) are part of a close-knit group of friends who are also successful businessmen and avid fishermen. One evening, the group was sitting around having food and drinks while discussing what was wrong with the current structure of local fishing tournaments.

Events were poorly planned, poorly attended, and did little if anything at all for local nonprofits that were in desperate need of support. The entire group of friends all felt that there was a much better way to support anglers with a passion for giving to others who also wanted to participate in a great event.


The group worked to transform local amateur fishing tournaments into a chance for competitive friends who love being out on the water to get together and compete while raising money for a charity. After partnering with Tito’s Handmade Vodka to become  their official fishing team, John and JJ created Southern Fishing Charities (SFC) along with Tito’s Market Manager Grant Portier. “We looked at how the fishing community could give back to not just the anglers and their families, but local charities that could benefit from that,” John Mitchell says. The nonprofit they created, Southern Fishing Charities, organizes events and coordinates efforts to support local charities directly with the proceeds from each tournament.

John, Grant and JJ give all of the credit for their efforts to the man who helped introduce them to Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Scott Terry, a close friend who passed away a short time ago. John states that “Scott will forever be remembered and an important part of our team.” To honor Scott and continue his legacy, they participate in an honorary walk to benefit Lauren’s Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing childhood sexual abuse.

Lauren’s Kids, which provides help and support to victims and preventative measures to prevent future abuse, was chosen by the team to serve as the primary benefactor of the SFC’s 2015 season. The organization had a direct impact on Scott Terry, which allowed him to give his best to others.

Asked what drives him to pursue so many different efforts in addition to his business, John Mitchell said that it’s the ability to give back. “Personally, I feel like I’ve been very fortunate in my life to do what I’ve done and see what life has given me. Anytime you can help somebody and give somebody a fighting chance; I believe they deserve that.”

JJ said his motivation stems from channeling his competitive drive to do good for others. “Competition has driven me to do many things, and this has given me a chance to turn it into something positive that can help a lot of great people.”

This group of friends has done just that. Through the Bluewater Babes Fish for a Cure event, the Tito’s Handmade Vodka team along with the support of Tito’s Handmade Vodka recently donated a check for $15,000. The hard work they put in is worth every bit of the payoff to the team. “We will spend every day every weekend waking up at 2am until 7pm at night in 6-foot waves in the worst conditions possible to do things like that because we believe in helping people,” said John Mitchell.

The Tito’s Handmade Vodka team encourages other people to get involved, whether that means reaching out within their local community to find causes they care about or reaching out to them about Southern Fishing Charities. “Everyone should get involved. Volunteers make what we do possible,” said JJ, who stated they are always in need of help for events.

If interested in getting involved, contact John Mitchell at or John Jackson at To find out more about the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Fishing Team, follow them on Facebook and