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Fun Run To Benefit Suncoast Charities For Children

Though the Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix and Suncoast Charities for Children—the Southwest Florida event’s former longstanding beneficiary—amicably parted ways a couple of years ago, the two are forever linked by history. Sarasota remains a high-performance powerboating hotbed and the supporting nonprofit charity is woven into that legacy, as well as the fabric of the local community, regardless of its separation from offshore racing.

Local backers for the 2023 Waves and Wheels Fun Run include Twisted Metal business owner and former offshore racer Billy Glueck. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

To that end, Suncoast Charities for Children is producing its Waves And Wheels Fun Run in memory of Noel Speranza—a beloved former board member of the nonprofit organization who died in April 22 at age 53—on July 1 as part of its Sarasota Suncoast Summer Fest fundraising drive.

The run starts Saturday morning at Marina Jack in Sarasota and finishes that afternoon at The Point restaurant in Osprey. There are multiple stops between the run’s beginning and end points, all of which are accessible by land. And that means registered participants can join in the fun via car or motorcycle and, of course, by powerboat.

The owners of Sarasota-based Shore Thing Storage, the event’s presenting sponsor, Dee Babcock and Simon Williams are chairing the event. Additional sponsors include Twisted Metal Recycling, Crescent Moon Investments, LLC, Joey Gratton Foundation, Sarasota Ford, Suntex Marinas, Maureen and Doug Baltzer, and the Friends and Family of Noel Speranza group.

“Noel had a big heart when it came to helping individuals with special needs,” said Lucy Nicandri, the longtime executive director of Suncoast Charities For Children. “He was an avid boat, car and motorcycle enthusiast. ‘Waves and Wheels’ emulates all the things he loved to do and his commitment to raising money for children, teens and adults with special needs here in the local community.”

Registration is $25 per boat. For those who also want to attend the Waves And Wheels Fun Run kick-off party on Friday night, the cost is $125. Would-be participants can register by clicking here.

Produced by Powerboat P1, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix is scheduled for June 30-July 2.

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