Debra Frenkel & John Weller of Freedom Waters Foundation, 2011 YachtWorld Heroes

Debra Frenkel and John Weller co-founded Freedom Waters Foundation with the compelling mission to enhancing lives by providing therapeutic boating and marine related activities for people with disabilities, life threatening illnesses, youth at risk and others with special needs. The father of a child who has participated in FWF boating experiences may have said it best. “Special needs basically means the Loss of Freedom: Loss of the senses… smell, taste, hearing, feel/touch, sight. Freedom Waters Foundation gives our blind, deaf, and paralyzed child his senses back,” wrote John Buck, Father of Riley Buck, age 8. “The smell and taste of the salt water air; the vibration (hearing) of the motor or gentle rocking of the waves; the touch of the sun and wind in his hair. As for sight, the organization gives us something to look forward to every time we participate. For a moment in time, our son/family, are “normal” and a part of something very special.” Debra Frenkel, founded Freedom Waters Foundation with the compelling mission to enhancing lives by providing boating opportunities and marine related activities for people with disabilities, life threatening illnesses, youth at risk and others with special needs.

How has your nominee’s efforts made a difference for the better? Yacht outings for children with cancer and their families began in October of 2004 and are now serving numerous children with special needs and their families, in four South Florida counties: Collier, Broward. Palm Beach and Lee Counties. Freedom Waters Foundation is partnered with Collier County Parks and Recreation to provide adaptive sailing; teaching people with disabilities how to sail independently for those who can and providing sailing experiences to others who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the therapeutic effects of being on the water and feeling the wondrous sense of Freedom. They have also been instrumental in guiding other adaptive sailing programs around the country. Freedom Waters Foundation provides fishing opportunities and tournaments for those with disabilities, other special needs and youth at risk. Private boat owners and other volunteers donate the use of their vessels and their time to share the enjoyment and sport of fishing with the Freedom Waters Foundation participants. Participants are invited to participate through numerous local social service agencies or self-referred. Freedom Waters Foundation works with nationally established fishing organizations that encourages and educates participants regarding safe and appropriate fishing practices.

How will being recognized as a YachtWorld Hero further your nominee’s cause? YachtWorld’s recognition of Freedom Waters Foundation and our willingness to help other communities set up similar programs to provide boating opportunities to people of special needs, may result in touching more lives than they may ever have thought possible.

Website and online articles

http://freedomwatersfoundation.org
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/mar/15/freedom-waters-celebrates-five-years-service-child/
http://southernboating.com/blog/2011/09/21/freedom-waters-foundation-by-laura-dunn/
http://www.boats.com/blog/2009/02/john-weller-receives-first-broker-of-the-year-award/

Debra Frenkel and John Weller were nominated by Andrew Cilla of Luke Brown Yachts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FWF RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FROM YACHTWORLD FOUNDATION February 18, 2012 – By debby- GREAT NEWS! – FWF Co-Founders, YachtWorld Foundation 2011 YachtWorld Heroes John Weller (5 time cancer survivor and 30+ year Yacht Broker) and Debra Frenkel (Social Worker), Co-Founders of the charity, Freedom Waters Foundation were announced as one of the YachtWorld Foundation’s 2011 YachtWorld Heroes, at the Miami International Boat Show’s opening breakfast, on 2/16/12, lending… READ MORE …..

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