For the last six years, Tiffany Maasen, one of the integral volunteers behind the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri, has organized a major charitable aspect of the performance boat extravaganza—the Make-A-Wish rides for children with serious disabilities or medical conditions.
The Make-A-Wish rides held at Captain Ron’s make an impact on the families and the boat owners. All photos courtesy Tiffany Maasen
Next Thursday afternoon (August 25), Maasen and her team of volunteers and dedicated sponsors such as First National Bank will be hosting the Make-A-Wish rides at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach, and she’s expecting another well-attended event. For the first time, according to Maasen, a local water patrol boat is going to be on her long list of boats available for rides, which includes a fire rescue boat, a houseboat inspired by Snoopy’s dog house, pontoons, wakeboard boats, cruisers and of course performance boats from the likes of Cigarette Racing Team and Fountain Powerboats V-bottoms and MTI and Skater Powerboats catamarans.
In fact, Wake Effects’ owner Rusty Rahm is going to have his jaw-dropping 52-foot canopied MTI, which is powered by twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines, available to take kids for rides. The local dealership is bringing a couple of MasterCraft models as well.
“Last year we did 152 boat rides and we’re hoping to do even more this year,” said Maasen, whose husband, Mark, owns Poly Lift Boat Lifts and will have their 38-foot Cigarette on site to give rides. “We also donated more than $27,000 to Make-A-Wish Missouri last year and we hope to surpass that this year. We couldn’t do this without the sponsors and all of the volunteers who help assist the kids and their families throughout the process from travel arrangements to getting them on and off boats.
Check out the slideshow above for more images from the Shootout Make-A-Wish rides.
Maasen added that participation is easy—just let her know ahead of time you’re coming with your boat via email at [email protected] The same can be done for families looking to catch a ride in a boat.
“One thing we’re adding this year is that we’re going to give out decals to the boat owners who give rides that shows they participated in the charity event,” explained Maasen, who said there will be a few Make-A-Wish-specific items up for auction at the Performance Boat Center party on Thursday evening. “The pleasure they get from brightening one child’s day is reason enough to do it, but it’s nice for them to be able to take a little something home. The rides really are life changing—for the kids, the families and the boat owners. It’s so neat to see the drivers connect with the kids and their families. And to give the kids a day away from the doctors, the treatments and the struggles they face on a daily basis is a feeling unlike anything else.”