BETSY DAVIS, CENTER FOR WOODEN BOATS, YW Hero Nominee 2013

Who is Your Hero?

Betsy is a unique and vivacious personality with an infectious quality to engage persons of all age and skill to participate responsibly on and around the waters of the Pacific Northwest as well as the world. The number of people that pass through The Center for Wooden Boats is amazing. Betsy helps foster much needed community awareness for improved health of our waters. Deserved recognition will only help increase the numbers of responsible persons. Guilty by association?

Following a career in high tech, Betsy Davis came to lead The Center for Wooden Boats after she attended the boatbuilding program at a local community college and participated in the restoration of her own boat. That story is at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq95NreP1Qc&feature=youtu.be The Center for Wooden Boats is positioned in a rapidly growing neighborhood in Seattle, which has brought it into the spotlight – here is a recent interview with Betsy on the Seattle channel: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=3121233

How has your nominee’s efforts made a difference for the better?

The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) provides hands-on experiences in small boats right in the heart of downtown Seattle. Over 100,000 people visit CWB each year and over 5,000 people get out on the water for free on Sunday afternoons thanks to volunteer skippers. Over 3,000 young people get on the water in field trips each year (a third on scholarships) and several hundred participate in dinghy sailing classes. Several hundred adults learn to sail each year under the direction of dedicated volunteers and several thousand people rent traditional boats to sail with friends and family. CWB emphasizes outreach to underserved youth by partnering with case workers from youth service agencies as illustrated in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDBGxwBqEQ8 . CWB’s programs create access to an “urban wilderness” right in the heart of the City, and build awareness of the natural environment. CWB’s field trip program “The Significance of Salmon” young people get on the water and test the water quality, learning about the relationship of human activity and natural resources. CWB also introduces about 8,000 young people each year to woodworking and the use of tools as they build toy boats. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YADXNv6BSWw . CWB’s Job Skills Training program for underserved youth ages 16-20 builds employment skills as well as boatbuilding and boat handling skills – transforming lives and galvanizing staff and volunteers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jIHRwxlRTM

CWB has been recognized as the #1 year-round community sailing center in the country by U. S. Sailing (2009), by the Waterfront Center for Excellence for its grass-roots efforts to build community access to the waterfront (2010) and with a national award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History (2011). More detail is available in CWB’s annual report: http://cwb.org/assets/2013/10/FINAL-2012-Annual-Report-Letter.pdf

How will being recognized as a YachtWorld Hero further your nominee’s cause?

Increased social awareness of water related activities, traditional boat construction techniques and related environmental responsibilities increases social responsibility. Being recognized will expand the awareness base of the Center for Wooden Boats and hopefully increase the flow of people wanting to learn creatively through its free access programs.

The Center for Wooden Boats provides the broadest range of the community with an immediate way to experience the natural world without belonging to a yacht club or owning a boat. The organization was founded over 30 years ago on the back deck of the founder’s houseboat, and has grown incrementally over the years thanks to broad support from volunteers and grass-roots community members. Recognition as a YachtWorld Hero would help build the visibility of this important community resource to ensure it has the resources to continue delivering on its mission programs for generations to come.

Please share any website or online articles about your nominee’s activities.

Center for Wooden Boats

http://seattletimes.com/text/2021345236.html

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Center-for-Wooden-Boats-keeps-the-past-afloat-1271861.php

http://www.pressure-drop.us/forums/content.php?1300-Seattle-s-Center-For-Wooden-Boats-Hunting-Ghosts-in-Lake-Union

Betsy Davis was nominated by Michael Rancourt, The Yacht Pirate Syndicate, in the category of Joy of Boating Crusader.

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