Nineteen year old Madeline (Mattie) Rowe of Harlingen has been named the official 2014 Texas International Fishing Tournament Hostess.
The daughter of Dr. James Rowe of Harlingen and Charles and Carrie Lee Buchen of Harlingen, Mattie is currently a freshman at TexasStateUniversity pursuing her career goals in photography and marketing. She is member of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Chi Omega Society and is involved in Texas States’ Young Life Club. She was also a TIFT scholarship recipient in 2013 and will receive a $2,000 scholarship this year for her service as hostess.
Mattie’s involvement with TIFT began at the age of three carrying a Mickey Mouse fishing pole and wearing a Little Mermaid life jacket. She was dockside as a baby but it was only as a toddler that she began to fish. Little did she know she would grow up loving the sport and would become “hooked” on fishing for life. Even now, she vividly remembers those young days filled with excitement and dragging her hard-earned stringer of piggy perch to the weigh dock.
Three generations of Mattie’s family have been part of the TIFT family. Her late grandfather, Wayne D. Grayson, was TIFT President in 1976 and 1977. Her stepfather, Charles Buchen, serves on the Advisory Board and supports the event as a boat/team sponsor, and mother, Carrie Buchen was appointed to the Advisory Board 13 years ago and has, for the past seven years, served on TIFT’s Executive Board. Mattie comes from a family dedicated to serving TIFT and began her volunteer activities at a very young age, stuffing registration bags and later working registration, Playday and the dock. For the past several years, she and other dock workers have crafted their own creative headwear and custom apparel to show their enthusiasm for the days they spend working the dock. She strives each year to reclaim the title of the dockworker with the slimiest T-shirt, but she also says she cleans up “pretty well” and hopes to adapt to the role of official hostess with the same ease she displays in her other service areas.
“Being TIFT hostess has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl,” Mattie says. “I was quite the tomboy growing up, but I always secretly looked up to the TIFT hostess as my own living princess. Making the kids smile, mingling with the anglers, and meeting all of the families are all things I love doing. I not only want to be the woman that the little girls in the stands look up to, but also the woman who carries herself in a way that shows respect towards others.”
Mattie follows her older sister Alexandra Rowe as TIFT hostess and says she sees this honor as an opportunity to say thank you to the people who make the tournament possible. “I want to thank TIFT for the hundreds of smiles, thousands of T-shirts in my closet, and millions of memories you have given so many families year after year,” she said. “I am eternally grateful to this organization and look forward to bringing my own family to TIFT someday. Who knows? If I’m lucky, I might even be sitting in that room someday on the TIFT Executive Board.”
Online Registration is OPEN! http://tift.org/register/