Let’s call it a good thing that there was more accounting involved than past years following the ninth annual Speed On The Water Key West Bash held almost two weeks ago in conjunction with the Race World Offshore-produced Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., and the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run. It’s a good thing because the number-crunching expert on the party committee—Yvonne Alemán—finished totaling all of this year’s donations in her typical detailed manner and the 2022 Racing to Rebuild-themed bash, which was presented by CMR Construction and Roofing, exceeded all of our expectations with a whopping $105,000 in donations.
Thanks to a generous group of sponsors, racers and poker run participants, the Speedonthewater.com 2022 Key West Bash raised more than $100,000 for charity. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos
That’s right—the three-hour bash at the Sandbar Sports Grill on Greene Street collected more than $100,000, with close to $64,000 being donated to the event’s longstanding charity, Samuel’s House in Key West, and more than $41,000 going toward the Hurricane Ian recovery efforts in Fort Myers Beach under the #WeAreFMB Resilient fund organized by the Fort Myers Beach Women’s Club and the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation.
Between myself, Alemán, her boyfriend, Greg Harris, and my partner in speedonthewater.com, Matt Trulio, our tight-knit planning committee was overjoyed by the generosity displayed at the 2022 Key West Bash, but not surprised. The outpouring of support the past few years for Samuel’s House, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter women, children and intact families in a safe and sober setting, has been overwhelming so we had a feeling adding the Fort Myers Beach charitable efforts to the cause would take the donation amounts to another level.
It helped, of course, that several businesses kicked off the live auction with matching donations of $2,500 to the #WeAreFMB Resilient fund, including CMR, Powerboat P1, Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats, Shaun Torrente Racing and Race World Offshore. Larry Bleil of Race World Offshore, who has been instrumental in working with the city for permits to shut down Greene Street for the bash, also generously donated $5,000 to Samuel’s House. Adding to the list of donors, Speedonthewater.com pledged $1,000 to Samuel’s and gave another $2,500 thanks to party T-shirt sales to the Fort Myers Beach fund.
The one-and-only Billy Mauff of WHM Motorsports fame, raised both of his hands during the party and pledged a $10,000 donation to assist Fort Myers Beach, a community the native New York adores.
Howe 2 Live’s Mike and Sarah Howe, who donated a Howe 2 Live Dry Tortugas Experience item for the live auction that raised more than $10,000, had an amazing time at the 2022 Key West Bash. Check out their amazing video recap from the event, which went live today.
Mauff and his fellow racers also stepped up to support Super Stock-class racer Shaun Torrente, who is sponsored by CMR and was spearheading the sale of “Racing to Rebuild” stickers that were generously donated by his fellow competitor, Ryan Beckley of Kinetic Animation. Torrente said he ended up raising an additional $3,100 thanks to the race teams that donated to the cause and placed the stickers on their boats.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Key West Bash presented by CMR Construction and Roofing.
We’re still in awe by the generosity displayed by the racing community and poker run participants who stopped by the party, which included a trio of raceboats—CMR Roofing, M CON and TS Motorsports—on display alongside the CMR-backed NASCAR racecar and a Funny Car dragster outside on the street.
Of course none of the fundraising would be possible without longstanding party sponsor Wozencraft Insurance Agency and a ton of other companies, poker runs, race teams and more that stepped up to provide items for the live auction and raffle. MTI founder Randy Scism and his dedicated team deserve a special shout-out for their continued support of the event between bringing boats to display, donating items for auction and Scism himself stepping up this year to donate more than $7,000 toward the causes.
The Key West Bash has matured into something beyond anything we could have imagined, and we have the generous Speedonthewater.com audience, including this year’s auctioneer Todd Campbell, to thank for that. Now the pressure is on for the 10th annual Key West Bash, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 9. Mark it on your calendar now.
Fort Myers Offshore president Tim Hill, who organizers the Roar Offshore races in Fort Myers Beach, presented speedonthewater.com’s Matt Trulio, left, and Jason Johnson, center, with a plaque recognizing the website’s generosity.
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