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Commentary: 105,000 Thanksgiving Blessings

Call us old school—we did, after all, start our careers when print newspapers and magazines were thriving—but we believe that publishers have a responsibility to the communities they cover and the people who call them home. That means giving back when you can and, at the very least, reporting stories of charitable work within those communities and contributing whenever possible.

During an unforgettable week in Key West, Fla., for the Race World Offshore World Championships, Matt Trulio and Jason Johnson (left and right) bumped into Mercury Racing’s Stuart Halley and Mercury Marine’s Chris Drees. Photo by Ryan Wenk copyright speedonthewater.com.

Those stories bring much-needed attention to good causes in need, such as Samuel’s House in Key West, Fla., or the Fort Myers Beach Fort Myers Beach recovery #WeAreFMB Resilient fund organized by the Fort Myers Beach Women’s Club and the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation. Unlike most stories we publish, they are personal for us. In tandem with whatever funds we help raise—and the total from our annual Speed On The Water “Racing To Rebuild” Key West Bash exceeded $105,000—they help fill our need to give back.

Sometimes, we even kick in. This year, we donated $1,000 to Samuel’s House on the heels of a $5,000 from Larry Bleil of Race World Offshore and the $2,500 in profits we made through “Racing To Rebuild” T-shirt sales. It’s not big money, but like other small donations it helps make a difference.

Of course, hosting that kind of party, takes a village. That was especially true this year as we once again, thanks to Bleil, who helped shut down Greene Street, had teams deliver three raceboats and two racecars, organized and led a press conference for Powerboat P1 announcing the sponsorship deal between Monster Energy drink and the future Class 1 M CON team and set up two hours of racers interviews with Todd Swofford and Rick Lopez of “The Zone” 97.7 FM Sports Radio—all ahead of a party that attracted an estimated 3,000 guests to the Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street.

But that wasn’t necessarily the coolest part of the week. This was.

While strolling the wet pits Thursday morning before our party, we bumped into a couple of very cool cats, Mercury Racing general manager Stuart Halley and Chris Drees, the president of Mercury Marine. We know Halley well and we’ve met Drees many times. It was the perfect moment for a photo opp so we grabbed it.

Like you, we have much to be grateful for this year. Our families are healthy. We have food on our tables and roofs over our heads.

And thanks to all of you, we have another 105,000 reasons for gratitude.

So thank you. May today find you at peace among the people you love.

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