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2010 The Blue Wild Expo - June 5-6, 2010 This is a world-class spearfishing event with over 1,000 participants at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center.

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Old 05-06-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
diligaf
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The Jeff Simonds Award

Before this press release is released jointly by “The Blue Wild” and the FWC, we would like to share the p/r with the members of Spearboard first.

There are no words to describe our feelings and our gratitude to Jeff, Jess, Lt. Bingham, and the entire dive community. Thank you. The Press Release -

The Blue Wild (Dive and Marine Art Expo) honors FWC Lieutenant with award for conservation, safety, and leadership

Award Named in Honor of Late FWC Biologist Jeff Simonds

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 6, 2010 – (PR.com) – The Blue Wild, http://thebluewild.com/index.html, announced today that Lt. David Bingham with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has been awarded the “Jeff Simonds Award” for his work on Dive Flag Awareness, his life-long commitment to conservation, and his efforts to bring law enforcement and the dive community together.

Lt. Bingham, after attending the first “Blue Wild” four years ago, heard a constant theme among divers – many boaters were unaware of the dive flag law and its meaning. Concerned by this, Lt. Bingham set out to establish better education and “Dive Flag Awareness Week”. On June 9th, 2009, the Florida Cabinet and Governor Charlie Christ passed a resolution proclaiming the first “Dive Flag Awareness Week” which is helping to educate boaters and divers about the dive flag law.

“I’m humbled and honored to be given an award in honor of Jeff’s name and what he stood for.” said Bingham, who heads a patrol squad in Broward County, went on to add “Working together we can make a difference and make the water a safer place.”

The award is named after the late FWC marine biologist Jeff Simonds. Jeff was well known and respected in the dive and spearfishing communities. He loved spearfishing and was also an advocate for conservation. He had the magical gift of bringing both sides together.

“In this small way we hope to honor and remember Jeff for his work, his life, his spirit, and who he was” said Sheri Daye, event host and producer, and added “Jeff’s kindness and helpfulness touched many… more than he knew.”

The award will be presented by Jeff’s wife, Jessica Snook, at this year’s Expo. “Jeff would be incredibly honored to have such an award given in his name” said Jessica and went on to add “Jeff was my best friend, my dive buddy, my other half, I love him so much. It means so much to me that we can honor and remember him.”

The Blue Wild is being held June 5 and 6 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The pre-registration admission price is $25 on Saturday or $45 for the weekend. The admission covers seminars, workshops, and the vendor expo. The marine art exhibit is free. Admission can be prepaid at http://thebluewild.com/tickets.htm

Twin Palms Center for the Disabled, http://www.twinpalmscenter.org will be the recipient of the event proceeds.

Last edited by diligaf; 05-06-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

What a wonderful tribute! I'll bring tissues with me to the Expo.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

What a great way to honor one of our own and promote the one thing that can help ensure our safety.

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Old 05-07-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petra View Post
What a wonderful tribute! I'll bring tissues with me to the Expo.
Lisa, Lt. Bingham just showed me the Dive Flag Awareness video that the FWC recently finished making. It will be shown on YouTube, on the FWC website, and in boating classes. This will make a difference, among other things they are doing.

I will make copies of the DVD for you and Rob and whoever else wants it. It came out great! Talk about tissues...your interview makes me cry every time I watch it. You did great. We really do need to reach people's heads and hearts about this issue. See ya soon!

Last edited by Sheri; 05-08-2010 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:44 AM   #5
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

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Originally Posted by Sheri View Post
Lisa, Lt. Bingham just showed me the Dive Flag Awareness video that the FWC recently finished making. It will be shown on YouTube, on the FWC website, and in boating classes. This will make a difference, among other things.

I will make copies of the DVD for you and Rob and whoever else wants it. It came out great! Talk about tissues...your interview makes me cry every time I watch it. You did great. We really do need to reach people's heads and hearts about this issue. See ya soon!
Sheri, Lt. Bingham sent me an e-mail about the video and said he was pleased with how it turned out. I thanked him I expressed my pleasure that he was receiving the Jeff Simonds Award; it couldn't be going to a more deserving guy.

Is Bingham, again, scheduled to do a dive flag awareness presentation at this year's Blue Wild? Will the video be shown there too? Thanks for making me a copy!

Let me know how I can help at the seminar! My ten-year-old son, Hunter, will be there as well, and I know he would be honored to help out
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

Cool - this is great!
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

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Originally Posted by Petra View Post
Is Bingham, again, scheduled to do a dive flag awareness presentation at this year's Blue Wild? Will the video be shown there too? Thanks for making me a copy!

Let me know how I can help at the seminar! My ten-year-old son, Hunter, will be there as well, and I know he would be honored to help out
Yes, Lt. Bingham is speaking, along with Rob, about Dive Flag Awareness, and the video will be on a loop at the FWC booth. Bingham has not missed a Blue Wild yet! I had to spill the beans on this award, and he says it is the most meaningful one he's ever received. FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto plans to be there too, assuming oil spill issues don't send him out of town or something. That is HUGE! He is the highest ranking official for the FWC.

Having Jess there is just as huge in my book. I know it must still be so hard on her, but I'm hoping this event can be fun and relaxing for her, and also a way for all of us to show her some continuing support. Rob and Jess deserve support for what they've been through, and Jeff deserves to be remembered for the role model that he was. We will try to celebrate Jeff's life, Rob's courage, Lt. Bingham's perseverance, and just have a good ole time. But I agree, it's going to be hard not to cry.

Lisa, I would love it if you and Hunter can help me. Sometimes I feel I've bitten off more than I can chew with this Expo, and I'm depending on a few kind souls to help me through (like last time). Thanks a million! You're a doll.
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:14 PM   #8
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

wow, that is awesome...great way to honor Jeff, and no one deserves more appreciation that then the good Lt.

Lisa, you hit it on the head...I'm misty -eyed after this thread... I will be crying a lot at the expo apparently...thanks a lot for all your work guys, it is really appreciated
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:22 PM   #9
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

Sheri, Dave & Lisa,

This is great news about the award and the FWC video!

I'm betting every dive store in the state and beyond will want to be able to show it to their students and customers... I know I will!

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:56 PM   #10
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

That's very nice, I hope FWC makes the video available to public pretty soon, after I witness yesterday a yellow/orange power boat with a big rooster tail cruising at 45-50 mph within a 100 ft of a diver (with a flag) on the surface out of Boca.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:23 PM   #11
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

When will the award be presented?
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:24 AM   #12
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

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Originally Posted by pernicia View Post
That's very nice, I hope FWC makes the video available to public pretty soon, after I witness yesterday a yellow/orange power boat with a big rooster tail cruising at 45-50 mph within a 100 ft of a diver (with a flag) on the surface out of Boca.
The video was posted on Youtube last week. Spread the word. 300 FEET! STEER CLEAR! IT'S THE LAW!

YouTube- Diver Down Flag Program
I believe the award will be presented on Sunday afternoon...?..
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:17 AM   #13
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

Great award!! Jeff would be proud.

Wish I could be there. I will be at Helldivers Rodeo.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:38 AM   #14
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

I'm so excited about how the award came out. Lisa, isn't this nice?!? Thank you to my friend, Bill, for getting this made.

Lt. Bingham is going to love this....and he so deserves it!

It will be presented at 1 pm on Sunday. We will also have a cool FWC K-9 demonstration (this dog can detect and find fish on boat by species...poachers beware!), and FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto will be there to speak and answer questions too.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:57 PM   #15
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Re: The Jeff Simonds Award

Forgive me. It's a long one, but I haven't been on the board much.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts & thank you Sheri for choosing to honor Jeff in this way. I just watched the FWC video, & while it breaks my heart to see Rob & Lisa, it is a comfort to know so many people are working to keep all of us divers safe. It also brings me such pride to know that FWC is working to support the spearfishing community. Although I have worked as a teacher for the last two years, I lost my job due to budget cuts this year (after Jeff died.) Fortunately, FWC welcomed me back with open arms & I will start back with them this week.

Rob is such an inspiration to so many people & Rob, I hope you know that you were to Jeff, too. I know you have heard it a thousand times because I'm sure Jeff & I have said it at least a thousand times alone, but you are truly amazing. Although I cannot imagine what you went through, I do understand a little bit about loss now, and I cannot imagine facing this feeling in addition to the physical pain you must have/do feel. I also understand that inner spirit that says, "I'm going to get back out there & give it everything I've got!" That's just what some people are made of & I'm happy to find out that I do have that little bit in common with you.

Finally, I have to share a story about Jeff. When he was out diving on Tortugas research cruises, Jeff would keep a journal for me so that I could read all about his trip (since I couldn't actually go) once he returned. After he died, I stumbled across his journals to me while digging out photos for his wakes. I had forgotten he even wrote them. Sitting down to read, I could hear his voice in my head, the same voice I know I'll hear when I start to read his Spearboard posts again. I came to one line that made me immediately think of you, Rob. When the weather was picking up some and others were not sure they really wanted to be diving, Jeff wrote, "Hopefully it won't get any worse, 'cause you know me, if I've got a pulse and two legs-I'M DIVING!!" My first thought was, "Well guys, the two of you tested it & Rob, you showed us 2 legs was optional. Unfortunately, the pulse is not." Morbid maybe, & I hope not offensive to anyone, but that was my thought.

Inspirational though Rob is, I know we all hope that no other divers have to endure what he has. Making the video is such a fantastic first step. I wish there was some way to make all people purchasing or renting boats view the video prior to boating. Good job to all of you!
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