This last weekend the time between Christmas and New Years was not idly spent for the members of the Fort Myers Offshore Club. Club President Bob Barnhart reported to us that 40 boats with about 150 members ran the 45 mile stretch from Sanibel to Marco Island where they all gathered at CJ’s on the Bay.
Bob told us this was the first year they have had the run on this weekend and it is now known as the Holiday run. Previously the club held their run on New Year’s Day and in a harmonious effort to not conflict with the Joey Gratton Memorial run they moved the date up and as a result had a record number of participants.
Many of the fleet of 40 was center consoles and the club welcomed new members and now has a record 72 active boaters in the membership. The Fort Myers Offshore Club is a registered 501 (c) 3 not for profit that originated as a small group of enthusiasts in 2005. In 2007 following a fatal boating accident the membership raised over $30,000.00 to benefit a young girl who survived the crash. Following the success of this effort they officially established themselves as a non for profit in 2008 and have since raised thousands of dollars providing educational scholarships and support.
The events big winner was Josh Brousseau from Ontario, who won the $830 dollar split with the other half going to the charity fund. While this event was not an official fundraiser for the club they did raise a few thousand dollars from the registration fees and from donations. All of these funds will go to the club’s scholarship fund.
The next club event will be the first weekend of February in Sarasota where they will meet up with Ryan Beckley’s group and run around to Tarpon Point.
Photos courtesy of Jay Nichols of Naples Image.