Since Fort Myers Offshore started in 2005 and incorporated three years later, Bob Barnhart has guided the non-profit, Florida-based performance-boating club that raises college scholarship money for deserving college students. Barnhart, a Toronto, Canada-area native who owns a winter home on Marco Island, Fla., has steered the club from a small group of boat owners who enjoyed the occasional lunch run to local restaurants to a well-known organization with more than 100 members from Florida, the Midwest, the Northeast and Canada. The club’s members have raised more than $100,000 for its scholarship fund. In the process, they’ve shared countless hours of fun and friendship on and off the water.
With unanimous approval from the FMO board of directors, club member Eric Belisle will take over for Barnhart, who still step down as chairman on June 1. Barnhart will continue as a club member and also has volunteered to stay on as a director—but not an FMO officer—next season. In addition, he will continue to maintain the club’s Facebook page and organize its 2016 New Years Fun Run to Marco Island and Sarasota Hyatt weekend event at the end of the season.
“I will be available for consultation and will help to make sure the transition is smooth and seamless,” Barnhart wrote on the FMO Facebook page. “All of us on the FMO Board of Directors have pledged our full support for Eric and hope that each FMO member will do the same.
“I am very proud of what we together have accomplished with FMO since 2005 and look forward to continued participation with the club in a lesser roll as we enter a new chapter in the club’s history,” he continued. “Thank you all for the support you have given me over the years. It has been greatly appreciated and kept me going all these years.”