USA: 2017 Peace King Cup, Inheriting True Parents’ Traditions
The Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament is an annual tradition hosted by the Ocean Church to celebrate True Parents’ Holy Wedding Anniversary. This year, a total of nine captains, 29 individual boat trips, and 164 participant openings were filled for the seven days of the tournament, which concluded with an awards luncheon at the Clifton Family Church of New Jersey.
A fabulous sushi lunch was prepared by the Clifton Unification community members for tournament participants and family to enjoy. Pastor Manoj Jacob of Clifton gave an invocation to bless the food and Naria McGee, the emcee for the event, raised a toast to congratulate our True Parents on their 57th wedding anniversary and to start off the meal.
For the awards ceremony we were blessed with special guest speakers. Representing Family Federation (FFWPU) was Susan Bouachri, director of human resources as well as a fellow captain and long-time Ocean Church member. She shared about her experiences and fishing stories, giving wonderful insight and advice in the congratulatory speech to not just the winners but all who got a taste of fishing and being on a boat during the week.
We also had the mayor of Clifton, James Anzaldi, join us and share about the city, how they were also having a fishing activity for youth and families that day, and how our church’s youth group painted a mural under one of the city bridges commemorating 100-year anniversary of Clifton’s founding.
Mr. Minoru Nakata of the Leda Project also spoke briefly about his work in Paraguay, which is also connected to True Parents’ vision for the Ocean Providence and sustainability.
Finally, the trophies and prizes were given out to the first through fifth place winners of the tournament. During the week of fishing there were exciting and challenging days as the fishermen persevered through different weather and fishing conditions. On the first day, a 39.5” striped bass was caught and was the leading length through the entire week until the very last day when a 41.5” striper was landed.
Fifth place went to Rev. Jin Su Park with a 37” fish and fourth place went to Rev. Ki Yeal Lee with a 38” fish. Both are pastors of the KEA community in New York and New Jersey, respectively. Third place went to Leia Shinnishi, a Generation Peace Academy (GPA) participant. Altogether, twenty GPA participants fished for six days of the tournament, rotating in 10 members every other day. Second place went to Mario Mendoza, a first-time tournament participant, who held the lead with his 39.5” fish until the final day. He was unable to attend the award ceremony, but his wife, Motoko, and their daughter, Joy, were able to attend and receive the prize in his place. First place went to J.P., a young Unificationist from Germany who was interning and staying in New York City with her husband. It was also her first time entering the Peace King Cup, and she shared a wonderful testimony about her experience catching the winning fish. Captain Manuel Liba, a Unificationist originally from Germany, also gave a short testimony about the winning fish being caught on his boat.
Susan Bouachri, at the awards luncheon in the photo above, shared the following about the Je Ok’s exciting journey to first place:
“A highlight of the awards luncheon was the testimonies from the first-place winner, Je Ok Presser, and the captain of the boat which caught both the first and second place fish, Captain Manuel Liba. Je Ok and her husband have been in the U.S. for six months while she completed an internship. They have been staying with Kaye Allen and attending church with Pastor Tanya Edwards at the Manhattan Family Church. Last Sunday at church, Bishop Jesse Edwards encouraged all the congregation to participate in the tournament. Since Je Ok and her husband were preparing to return to Germany the following Sunday, she thought it would be a great opportunity to fish in the U.S.
“On Wednesday night, she called Captain Kensaku Takahashi and asked if she could go out on Friday, the last day of the tournament. Capt. Takahashi gave her the LAST open spot. On Friday morning, Je Ok used public transportation by bus, subway, bus, and light rail to travel from Queens to Bayonne—a two-hour trip which began at 5 a.m. She felt like, rather than catching the fish, the fish just came to her! Her captain, Manuel, testified that he felt she took ownership, committing to go fishing, making her way to the dock on her own, and making her best effort. It was an exciting story!”
All the winners received a trophy from the Ocean Church Director Kensaku Takahashi and the Ocean Church Assistant Director Branch Gaarder, who organized the tournament. Third through fifth place also received a fishing rod while first and second place received a cash prize of $3000 and $1000.
The ceremony concluded with a round of Oeg Mansei cheers lead by Yasutaka Ozawa, the youth pastor of Clifton.
We want to thank all who participated in the tournament for keeping our True Parents’ tradition alive and our generous sponsors who contributed to the competition and awards ceremony, making it a grand and wonderful event!
The final rankings and fish lengths and weights for the 2017 tournament were as follows:
- Je-Ok Presser – 41.5 inches – 24.14 pounds
- Mario Hendoza – 39.5 inches – 20.5 pounds
- Leia Shinnishi – 39 inches – 21.4 pounds
- Ki Yeal Lee – 38 inches – 21.2 pounds
- Jin Su Park – 37 inches – 19.14 pounds