Dreams For Kids DC, a 501(c)(3) children’s charity, provides life-changing activities that empower children with physical and developmental disabilities to unite with their peers and realize their potential.
Hoffmaster’s Marina has partnered with Dreams For Kids since 2007.
Coconut Joe writes:
I had been looking for a charity organization to work with and had toyed with various worthy groups when I got a call from Andrew Horn, the Director of a newly formed chapter of Dreams For Kids, an organization based in Chicago. He was trying to put together an Extreme Recess event. After having a couple of brainstorming sessions we decided Pohick Bay park would be the perfect spot to hold this event and I would supply drivers with boats to pull kids around in tubes.
The following year Andrew partnered with On the Edge Children’s Foundation to provide manpower and the adaptive waterskiing equipment. This greatly increased not only the capacity of kids we could invite but it also took the recess to a whole new level.
The next challenge we overcame happened when we realized if we could have a platform at the edge of the no wake zone we could handle a lot more kids since we could load them directly onto the equipment and be off and running instead of having to take the kids through the no wake zone. We asked Prince William Marina if they had a beat up pontoon boat we could borrow. Carlton went above and beyond and not only donated the use of his self-propelled barge but he also drove it there and back himself! This made all the difference in the world—we went from handling 100 people to handling 100 kids plus families!
When the kids come to the main dock, a Hoffmasters Marina employee transports them from the dock to the barge using a Bennington pontoon boat where they are fitted with equipment and taken on a water ski run aided by two On the Edge volunteers.
They can then go to the launch ramp where several of our customers donate their boats and time to take these children tubing. We use large taco tubes so that the child can be in between two volunteers while we’re pulling them around.
There’s also a moon bounce, games and lunch which Dreams For Kids works with local organizations to provide.
We donate enough money so that the event breaks even. We then solicit contributions from our customers and friends so that more events can be funded throughout the year.
The single largest contributor to our event is the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation. For the past several years the Baggins foundation has been amazingly generous. We are also greatly appreciative of the numerous contributions from many of our customers.
It’s a fantastic day on the water for these children and it’s something that we found can be an expression of our marina’s philosophy and ethics.