Amzim, Freedom Waters Foundation & Valerie's House
Posted on 27th January 2020 at 20:09
We partnered up with Freedom Waters Foundation and Valerie's House to put on a great day of fun on the water for families in need!
If you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn pages, you’ve probably seen some of our posts about our recent partnership with 2 wonderful organizations. To give you a bit of background information, Valerie’s House is an organization that offers support to families who have recently lost a loved one, and Freedom Waters Foundation pairs boat owners and captains with individuals and families coping with a variety of disabilities and special needs. On January 26th at 9am at the Naples Boat Club, we all came together to put on a event for the families from Valerie’s House. With 5 boats loaded with 30 people, we spent a (regrettably chilly) day out on the backwaters of Naples Bay looking for wildlife, learning about boating terminology and procedures, and having plenty of laughs along the way!
I was unable to be on all of the boats at the same time, so I was unable to spend much time with many of the other good folks from Valerie’s Hosue, but I can happily say that I had a great time with Ashley, Luke and Connor. I also heard some great stories about an up-and-coming Captain Jaxon on our customers and dear friends, Dan and Rick Woodworth's Formula 45 Yacht (check out Freedom Waters Foundation's Facebook video by clicking this link). As you can see, they were thrilled to be out on the water (Connor was perhaps the most excited to be on a “big boat”). As we were sitting in the bow of the gorgeous Formula 350 CBR that one of our gracious customers loaned to us, Connor and I were keeping our eyes peeled for any kind of wildlife we could find. We made a game out of it; whoever spotted an animal needed to give it a name. He thought the names I gave were silly (ahem...Ferdinand the Sea Gull is a fantastic name, I don’t care what you think). But his Scooby Doo themed names were fantastic when he found Velma the Heron and Daphney the Pelican! (I’m still not sure about Shaggy the Dolphin though...but he did hide from us as soon as we spotted him, true to his namesake...If you're a parent or grandparent, you should know what I'm talking about). His exuberance at being on the boat was only multiplied when Captain Laz offered him the Captain’s chair and let him drive for a little bit. While seeing over the steering wheel may have been a slight issue for him, he got a kick out of waving to all of the other boaters passing by and honking the horn at them! Ashley was thrilled to see him taking control, but clearly Luke was a bit worried (as is evidenced by the look on his face in the picture above!)
After a short jaunt through the backwaters, we made landfall at Keewayden and hopped off the boat for some lunch and shelling. Here we met up with Captains Zach and Phil Hailey (Pictured Below), who were having a great time with the families who had been assigned to their boats! Zach’s passengers were a bit chilly from the wind, so they were eager to hop off and enjoy some fun in the sun on the beach! The kids on Phil’s boat felt the same way, so they took the opportunity to grab some fries from the burger boat and enjoy a leisurely stroll down the beach. We got to see a lot of very cool boats lined up on the shore for a night of camping, and even helped someone get back in the water who had gotten stuck on shore! Big thanks to Jay from Freedom Waters Foundation for assisting that man on the beach! At the end of our time there, we all gathered back onto our respective boats and took some quick group photos before heading back to the Naples Boat Club to say our goodbyes and head home.
We had such a great time with so many wonderful people, and we’re so happy that we had an opportunity to work with such great organizations to put on an event that will last in our memories for a long time to come! We look forward to seeing more pictures from the participants from both organizations (keep an eye out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and seeing the happy faces of people enjoying their day on the water. If you’d like to learn more about the event, future events, Freedom Waters Foundation or Valerie’s House, please follow the links or give us a call! We plan on continuing to grow our relationship with these wonderful organizations, and would LOVE it if you could attend our next outing!
- Your Neighborhood Friendly Boat Blogger
Pictures Courtesy of ShandyMan Photography, Freedom Waters Foundation, Valerie's House
Share this post: