FMO’s annual Thanksgiving Weekend Fun Run attracted a variety of high-performance center consoles, catamarans and V-bottom sportboats. Photos courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.
Unlike millions of people around the country who spent last Saturday glued to their televisions thanks to college football’s “Rival Day” games, close to 100 members of Fort Myers Offshore—a Florida-based nonprofit club that raises college scholarship money for deserving students in the area—took to the water in 39 high-performance V-bottoms, catamarans and center consoles for their Thanksgiving Weekend Fun Run to Miller’s Marina at Boca Grande. It was the club’s second event of the 2016-2017 season.
“We had a great day on the water yesterday,” said Eric Belisle, the president of the club. “The winds were light, the skies were sunny and the high temperature was in the low 80s. This was a new destination for us—we try to mix it up to see what works and provide some variety to the membership. The marina is small and does not have a lot of dockage, but our membership was awesome. Everyone was patient and it all worked out.”
Belisle added a special “thank you” to club members Doug and Carolyn Comrie for allowing other members to use their private dock.
FMO’s Thanksgiving Day Fun Run is one of two “designated fundraising” events for the club. The final total has not been tallied, but Belisle said he believed they raised more money during this year’s event than they did at last year’s run.
A new venue for Fort Myers Offshore, Miller’s Marina worked out beautifully for the event despite somewhat limited dockage.
“The generosity of our membership always blows me away,” he said. “Several gave more than the minimum requested amount. One funny note—we always have a 50/50 raffle and the ticket sales were the exact same as the amount from last year’s Thanksgiving event.
“We had a few new members join us and we also added two new corporate members,” he added. “With this being the first big event of our season it was fun seeing all the new hardware from several members who changed boats during the last few months.
Scheduled for Dec. 10 club’s next event is a run to Venetian Village in Naples, Fla.