A young Krissy Wejebe learns the ways of the water from her dad, the late “Spanish Fly” Jose Wejebe.

Foundation and daughter carry on Wejebe’s legacy

“The show must go on,” Krissy Wejebe-Moloney said, while nine months pregnant and planning the annual three-day fundraiser in her father’s memory. Her father, Jose Wejebe, was a beloved Lower Keys fishing guide who hosted the “Spanish Fly” fishing show and was killed in April 2012 in a small plane crash in the Everglades. The same mentality goes for Jose’s legacy, and Krissy is making sure the show does go on.

“My dad helped numerous charities,” she said. “He didn’t just stick to one thing. He was taking sick kids and wounded vets out on the boat whenever he had a chance. He was passionate about conservation efforts. He was across the board.”

The Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Foundation sticks to those roots, helping more than 30 children and veterans since its creation in 2012. Krissy and her husband, fishing guide Dave Moloney, keep Jose’s memory alive by partnering with Make-A-Wish, Outdoor Dream Foundation, Wesley House, the V.A. Hospital and more to pick participants for the trips.

The weeklong trips include a vacation home donated by locals, offshore and backcountry fishing with local guides, a shark myth busting trip, and up close and personal tours at Dolphin Research Center, The Turtle Hospital, and Mote Marine Laboratory. “We try to stay true to what Jose would do,” she said citing her dad’s marine mammal training background. “The Mote snorkel trip is a real eye opener, since we start where they are growing corals at the lab, and then snorkel on reefs where the coral was implanted.”

The fundraiser is celebrated during Jose’s birthday month. See the box for the events taking place Jan. 27-29, or visit josewejebefoundation.org. “Now, let’s just hope baby A.J. can wait a couple more weeks before making his debut,” Krissy said, awaiting Anthony Jose’s arrival.

“The thing about the road less traveled is … it’s not really a road.” – Jose Wejebe, Spanish Fly

#FishForJose Events:

Welcome Party – Friday, Jan. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Square Grouper’s “My New Joint” Jose Wejebe room on Cudjoe Key.  $40, silent auction, raffles and stories from the fishing legend’s life at his favorite restaurant. Includes buffet, beer, wine, and Tito’s Vodka.

Fish For Jose Day – Sunday, Jan. 29, all day. Take some time to take a kid fishing, catch a new species, learn something new, or pick up some trash. Use the hashtag #FishForJose on social media, and meet up at an after-party from 5 to 8 p.m. at Saltwater Angler in Key West.

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