Make-A-Wish: Wish Fulfilled!
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Make-A-Wish: Wish Fulfilled!

RIPA & Associates is helping Make-A-Wish grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in the Tampa Bay area, including the wish of a St. Petersburg boy to have a custom boat tower.

Last April, RIPA & Associates hosted the 1st-annual Fishing for Wishes fishing tournament and raised over $50,000. Part of these proceeds helped grant the wish of 17-year-old Dylan, who battled and survived leukemia. Dylan wished for a tower to be added to his 22-foot SeaHunt fishing boat.

Last Saturday, RIPA & Associates employees, Make-A-Wish advisory board members, and Dylan’s family gathered at the Get-A-Way on Gandy to showcase Dylan’s brand new boat tower. Dylan’s father, Doug Dykens prepared a speech and described how much hope and joy talking about Dylan’s future boat was for their family during the hard parts of Dylan’s treatment.

“One night was particularly bad for Dylan, he was in a lot of pain and he was at a point where I think he couldn’t see any bright future. We started talking about a bigger boat, a bay boat that would have a tower, jack plate and a new 4-stoke Yamaha. Dylan knew exactly what he wanted,” said Doug Dykens, Dylan’s father.

Kevin Barker at Barker Boatworks worked with Dylan to make sure the tower was exactly what he envisioned. Complete with LED lights, a dual steering system and plenty of room for fishing pools, Dylan’s custom boat tower was the finishing component of his “dream boat.”

“We are thrilled to meet Dylan and to be a part of granting his wish,” said John Flinn of RIPA & Associates. “His story is inspirational to all of us and we hope he can come out and be a part of our fishing tournament next year.” The 2nd-annual Fishing for Wishes fishing tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Get-A-Way on Gandy.  For more information or if you would like to participate in the tournament, please email:

Dylan’s Wish Fulfilled!

(L to R) Kevin Barker, Dylan Dyker,
John Flynn, David Compton

Dylan’s Family