While Speedonthewater.com gets top billing on its annual Thursday night party during the 2023 Race World Offshore World Championship and Florida Powerboat Club Key West Poker Run, the event is much, much bigger than a daily news website dedicated to covering the high-performance boating world.
It takes a village to raise $200,000 for a local charity through an auction in just two hours. And that’s exactly what the high-performance boating tribe did last night for Samuel’s House in Key West, Fla. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos.
So the tale of last night’s 10th annual event, which raised $200,000 for Samuel’s House, a Key West shelter for women, children and intact families in a safe and sober setting, is not about speedonthewater.com. The story is about the performance boating community that never fails to rise to the occasion of digging deeply into its pockets to help their fellow human beings in need.
Talk about cool guitars to auction—last night’s Key West Bash event had three of them thanks to two generous donors.
It’s about two very fine gentlemen, who between them donated three guitars signed by country music stars—can you say Eric Church, Brooks & Dunn and Cody Johnson?—for last night’s live outdoor auction led by Nolan Ferris and Todd Campbell, who donated their time and energy to raise six figures for a local charity that needs it. And it all happened on a makeshift-stage/hauler for the Class 1 Monster Energy/M CON raceboat provided—at no charge of course—by owners by Tyler and Lindsey Miller.
It’s about the entire team at DCB Performance Marine in Phoenix, which couldn’t make it to Key West this year but sent a wild carbon-fiber card table as an auction item. It’s about the team at Mercury Racing, which sent a “man-cave” package that included barstools and raised more than $10,000 for the charity.
As he has for years, Stephen Miles donated an exquisite custom-painted shot-ski to the auction.
It’s about Rick J. Lindsey, who put a VIP Fan experience—including a flight in the XINSURANCE A-Star helicopter for today’s Super Cat race—on the auction block.
It’s about Georgia’s Sheridan Renfroe of the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run fame, who donated a mind-blowing, multi-poker run package for a couple of lucky bidders, and Thomas Anselmi and his wife, Andrea, who are in Key West this week for the first time in years.
It’s about Good Boy Vodka’s Alex Pratt, who created a golf-adventure auction called the “John Daly Golf Experience” where the winning bidder gets to meet and play in a charity golf event with the game’s most colorful character.
Flanked by the ladies of Monster Energy, the Monster Energy/M CON team’s Lindsey Miller, Sydney Leckliter and Chelsea Amptmeyer represented in fine style.
It’s about offshore racers Jeff Stevenson and Micheal Stancombe, who will treat the winning bidder for their “Ultimate Offshore Racing “ to a race weekend in 2024 with their new JBS Racing Skater Powerboats 46-foot catamaran powered by Sixteen Power engines. But that’s a ways off, so to give the bidders something to hold on to between now and then, Vinnie Diorio of SV Offshore Racing/Rollin’ Transport tossed in a model-truck dressed in his team’s livery, Connie Spronz added two hats signed by Reggie Fountain, Jr., and former offshore racer Billy Glueck added a checkered flag from his 2008 Super Boat International world championship.
Last night took a village. Check out some of the inhabitants.
It’s about the MTI team, which not only hauled a new MTI-V 50 center console to the auction site on Greene Street but donated a ridiculously comfortable office chair—and one the company will customize—for the winning bidder.
And of course, it’s about The R.J. Noble Company, which matched the $100,000 raised during the auction with a $100,000 donation of its own. Read that again if you need to. That’s right, the Southern California-based construction company owned by the Carver family plunked down $100,000 for Samuel’s House to the bring the total raised to $200,000.
The Arizona-based DCB team couldn’t be in Key West this week, but that didn’t stop it from sending a killer item for last night’s auction.
Last but many miles from least, it is about volunteers such as devoted party organizers, Yvonne Aleman and Greg Harris, longtime backer/believer Devin Wozencraft, Tim and Cyndee Hill of Fort Myers Offshore, event photographer Jeff Helmkamp, Speedonthewater.com national sales manager Shelby Mattingly and her friends, Thomas Covington and the Monster Energy ladies, and the team that showed up and worked tirelessly from Samuel’s House. It’s also about the staff and ownership of the Pickles Pub’s Sandbar, the host venue for last night’s happening. Not only did they open their establishment for the celebration and fundraiser, they opened their hearts to those who showed up.
(From left) Representing the “boat-less in Key West’ contingent from the Northeast was Chris Fisher, Mike Lasell, Kelly O’Hara, Christy Foote and Kiran Pinisetti.
This story is about you—all of you—and my speedonthewater.com partner Jason Johnson and I could not be more honored to have been a part of it. Sure, we provided the stage.
But you were the players.
God bless you all for last night’s remarkable performance.
The fundraising bar for Samuel’s House has been raised, much in part of Austin Carver (green shirt) and The R.J. Noble Company.
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R.J. Noble Company To Match Up To $100,000 In Donations At Tonight’s Key West Bash
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