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, Director of a newly formed chapter of Dreams For Kids, an organization based in Chicago. He was trying to organize an Extreme Recess event. After 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 was figuring out how to get as many kids out on the water as possible. We needed a platform at the edge of the no wake zone so we could quickly load them onto the equipment and be off and running instead of having to take them through the no wake zone on the equipment. 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 also drove it there and back himself! This was a game changer—we went from handling 100 people to handling 100 kids plus families!
When the kids come to the main dock, a Hoffmaster's 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 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.
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