Freedom Boat Club plans special day for Daniel Kids | Community Spirit

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Freedom Boat Club plans special day for Daniel Kids
 Freedom Boat Club plans special day for Daniel Kids

JACKSONVILLE – A group of young adults from the Daniel Foundation will get their day in sun Friday, August 23rd. That is, as long as the sun cooperates.

The local franchise of the Freedom Boat Club, based at Julington Creek Marina, is planning a special day of fun and activities for eight young people from the Daniel Foundation. This will be the fourth time in the past two years Daniel and Freedom have been pairing up to award these kids. In the past there have been as many as 20 students that were awarded with a boat ride. This year Daniel wanted to make the day a little longer, more special, and treat an extraordinary group of students.

The participants of the program are all great kids!  In order to qualify for this program they must be in school full-time, working a minimum of 20 hours per week, attend groups and therapy, as well as workshops on budgeting and life skill.  In addition all the youth are randomly drug tested and visited at work or school to make sure they are on task.  Many of these clients aged out of foster care without ever having had a forever home, some were found homeless and families in Duval county, and others were separated from their families due to death.  All of these clients are without a family to lean on and without a home to call their own.  They reside on campus in an Independent Living Village. “We wanted to offer them a great opportunity for a nice reward, with a day out doing something fun, and out of the ordinary, this is why we called Freedom Boat Club to partner with us again”, stated Kellie Ann Kelleher Executive Director, Daniel Foundation.

“We enjoy the opportunity to do something special for people in our community,” said Lisa Almeida, co-owner of the Jacksonville affiliate of the FBC. “The Daniel Foundation does fabulous work with youth and we want to support those efforts.”

The Daniel Foundation ( offers an array of health and social services geared toward helping children with a variety of emotional, social and behavioral issues. On Friday, the youth from Daniel will be the guests of the Freedom Boat Club and Captain JP Gaither. They will take a boat trip from Julington Creek Marina to Green Cove Springs, where they will enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch the group will cruise to Cunningham Creek in search of some of the abundant wildlife, such as owls and manatee.

“We have developed a special relationship with the Daniel Foundation and its youth,” Almeida said. “It is a pleasure for us to share the beauty of our local waterways and the joys of boating with people who might otherwise never get the chance.”

The Freedom Boat Club, founded in 1989, serves as an alternative to boat ownership. Freedom has 67 franchises throughout the United States. Each is outfitted with a variety of boats.

If you know of a charitable group or non-profit organization in the Jacksonville area that deserves a day of fun in the sun out on the water, contact the Freedom Boat Club at 904 588 2417.

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