Fun Day on the Water Planned for Grieving Kids | Sports & Recreation

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Fun Day on the Water Planned for Grieving Kids
Fun Day on the Water Planned for Grieving Kids

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 would otherwise not get the chance.

Freedom Boat Club of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Marine Association will be picking up approximately 80 kids from the Hospice Association of the Nature Coast on Saturday.  They will be leaving from the Quality Inn in Palatka and taking a 15 mile boat ride up river to Camp Good Hope.

“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.”

As a community service, the Wings Grief Support Team of Hospice of the Nature Coast provides grief support services at no charge to those who have experienced the death of a loved one.  Hospice of the Nature Coast is a program of Hospice of Citrus County, Inc, licensed in 1985.  To learn more about hospice services, visit or call 386-530-4600.

“We have planned a full day of fun activities,” Almeida said. “I know the kids are going to love it and we are going to love the chance to be with them.”

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.

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