Well-known in the high-performance powerboating circles, South Florida’s Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman are all heart. You simply won’t meet a couple more passionate about the time they spend on the water, which happens most of the time in Mad Props, Harris’ 32-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran. Both work their butts off for what they have—Harris is real estate agent, Aleman a certified public account who moonlights as a top breeder of majestic Cane Corsos.
Whether they’re running Mad Props or raising money for charity, Greg Harris and Yvonne Aleman work as a team. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But Harris and Aleman also believe in giving back, which has translated to the revival of a once-popular event in Jacksonville, Fla., that benefits Camp Amigo, a weeklong summer experience for children recovering from severe burn injuries.
For most folks, the work involved in organizing one charitable event would be enough. But Harris and Aleman didn’t stop there. Several years ago, they reached out to Jason Johnson, my partner in speedonthewater.com, and me with the notion of partnering on a party in Key West, Fla., during the annual offshore-racing/poker-run week in early November with offshoreonly.com. As columnists for the popular online community, Johnson and I liked the idea and agreed to it.
From the start, we knew we needed to attach a local Key West charity to the party. Thanks to Aleman, who did the research, we settled on Samuel’s House, a nonprofit organization benefitting homeless women and families in Florida’s Southernmost city.
That was four years ago. Through live auction and raffle items donated by members of the marine industry and the bidding largess of the go-fasting community, we raised a modest $5,000 in our first year—and have roughly doubled that number every year since. Our most recent effort raised $42,500 for the charity.
The fourth annual Speedonthewater/Offshoreonly Key West Bash at the Sandbar Sports Grill raised $42,500 for Samuel’s House. Photo courtesy/copyright Wozencraft Insurance Agency.
Earlier this week, Aleman received a letter from Samuels’ House naming the offshoreonly.com and speedonthewater.com teams as the recipients of its 2020 Women Of Integrity/Men of Valor honor. The award will be celebrated at March 26 banquet at the Marriott Beachside Hotel in Key West, and Aleman and Harris will attend and represent all of us. And we could not have better representation.
Recognition is lovely and appreciated, but it’s not what drives any of us. Raising money for Samuel’s House during the annual Speedonthewater/Offshoreonly Key West Bash is simply our way of thanking a city we all love. And of course we’ll be back.
The only question remaining? Can we continue this charitable roll and double the amount of money raised in 2019 in 2020?
Flanking Tristan Garvin and Dee O’Dell and, Yvonne Aleman (behind camera) and Greg Harris give back in a big way. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.