Good times in the boat for local kids | Sports & Recreation

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Good times in the boat for local kids
Good times in the boat for local kids

 JACKSONVILLE -- The Freedom Boat Club operates under a simple philosophy: Boating should be fun, relaxing and hassle-free. Now the world’s largest members-only boating club wants to share the joy of boating with some who otherwise, may not have the opportunity.

On Tuesday, May 15th, the Jacksonville branch of the Freedom Boat Club will be taking out 75 students from the Fathers H.a.r.b.o.r. Academy for a day of adventure on the river. The students will be treated to a variety of activities including exploring local waterways, searching for manatees, swimming and recreation, and enjoying a picnic lunch while anchored out on the water.

Fathers H.a.r.b.o.r., (which stands for Helping Adolescents Restore Balance Order & Respect), is a smaller Christian school, with grades K through 12, offering a unique opportunity for students to excel in their elementary and secondary education. The school utilizes the visual, performing and recording arts in order to help students maximize their potential for learning, and to facilitate their many talents.


“We want to give back to the community that has been so good to us,” said Lisa Almeida, who manages the Jacksonville affiliate of the Freedom Boat Club. “So we have decided to pick one charitable organization each month to work with and share the resources of the Freedom Boat Club.”

On May 15th, the youth  from Fathers H.a.r.b.o.r. will depart on a small fleet of boats from the Freedom Boat Club docks at Julington Creek and head for Green Cove Springs and the mouth of Black Creek, where they will search for manatee. From there, they will anchor at Trout Creek and have a picnic lunch before heading to Durbin Creek.

“ We feel very blessed to have this opportunity, it’s going to be an awesome experience ”, notes the schools Director and founder Dubel Augusto.

The event takes place during Father’s H.a.r.b.o.r’s senior week. The students’ week will kick off with the boating day adventures, and end in the schools prom, which will appropriately have a “Caribbean Nights” theme.

The Freedom Boat Club, founded in 1989, serves as an alternative to boat ownership. After calling ahead, members simply arrive at the dock where a boat is fueled up and ready to go. At the end of the day, members bring the boat back to the dock, unload personal gear, and hop in their car and go. Freedom has 60 franchises throughout the United States. Each is outfitted with a variety of boats.

“We want members to experience the joy of boating without any of the hassle,” Almeida said. “Now, we want to spread that joy to others who wouldn’t normally get the chance.”

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 888-781-7363.

Julington Creek Businesses