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Children’s futures to be lifted with donated sailboat L’Avenir

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L’Avenir was lifted this summer, and with her the futures of some South Florida homeless children.

L’Avenir is a 28-foot Columbia sailboat and means future in French. It will be the starting vessel in what may someday be a fleet of sailboats to help homeless children redirect their futures.

Marina Bay donated the boat and Marine Mile Yachting Center is overseeing her overhaul, all for a new program designed to teach homeless children about sailing and by doing so, teach them a new way of life.

“I started sailing in college and can, to this day, tell you all the things I learned from that and use to operate my life,” said Allen Reesor, the initiative behind the program. Reesor is now executive director of Metrix Research Group and previously spent six years as head of Broward Outreach Center, a homeless program in South Florida.

Now he wants to help children stuck in that lifestyle with the skills and lessons learned through sailing.

The new program, called Kids Sailing into Their Future, hopes to take up to four kids sailing each weekend for a month, teaching them not only sailing skills but teamwork, problem-solving, and collaboration. It will focus on kids aged 12-14. Younger than that and kids still look to their parents for direction and decision-making.

“Kids make the same mistakes as their parents,” Reesor said. “Our hope it to connect them with people in the community who live a different way, and to help them break the circle of poverty.”

The program needs volunteers to rehab the sailboat and to teach the kids about sailing on weekends. Those volunteers, coupled with a psychotherapist, a social services coordinator and a life skills coach, will give kids the tools to make new decisions in their lives.

HOPE South Florida will identify kids for the program. HOPE is the place where homeless families in Broward County turn to for help, including placement in emergency shelters and transitional shelters.

They expect the program to begin in January.

Anyone interested in participating can contact Dave Hole, manager at Marina Bay Yachting Center, at +1 954-583-0053 or info@marinamileyachtingcenter.com

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome at lucy@the-triton.com.

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