Thanks to much sweat equity, willing volunteers and generous donors, Freedom Waters Foundation will soon be able to take participants for boat rides on its wheelchair-accessible deck boat in Fort Lauderdale.
Mary Jane Noon of Luke Brown Yachts and her father, Tom Barrows, started it all when they donated a boat to Freedom Waters in 2012. After the FWF Board agreed to refit the boat to provide a much-needed wheelchair-accessible vessel for FWF participants in Fort Lauderdale, work began in earnest.
Recently William Wheeler, a volunteer, has kicked the project into high gear. Being deaf himself, he understands the challenges of copping with disabilities and he has a wealth of experience. A retired Eastern Airlines sheet metal mechanic, he has built his own boats and had a construction company in New York before moving to Florida where he built his own home.
When finished the FWF Deck Boat will be docked behind Luke Brown Yachts whose president, Andrew Cilla, is also president of Freedom Waters Foundation.
Sponsors and donors for this Deck Boat Project include:
- Peterson Fuel, the biggest contributor to the project, earmarking $19,500 to the project for 3 years.
- Dockside Yacht Management and Service
- Port Supply
- Custom Pipe Design – donating their time and expertise to fabricate and build the aluminum components of the Deck Boat