Boat lovers got an eyeful recently when some of the fastest boats in Southwest Florida convened for a fun run from Sanibel to Marco Island.
Fort Myers Offshore (FMO), a Floridabased nonprofit organization completed its 12th annual holiday fun run on December 30. The group raises college scholarship funds for local students in need. seventy-four boats participated in the event.
Boaters started the run from the south side of the Sanibel Bridge and stopped to enjoy lunch on Marco Island at C.J’s on the Bay at the Esplanade. The distance to and from the Sanibel Bridge to the Esplanade Marina at Marco Island is about 45 miles each way.
Fort Myers Offshore’s board is 100% volunteer-based and it has no paid employees. FMO President Eric Belisle states, “All the money we raise is distributed to local high school seniors pursuing higher education.”
Each year, FMO raises an impressive amount through their fundraising events. Belisle says, “We have distributed over $280,000 in scholarships. Last year we distributed $60,000. We are half way through our season and are on track of meeting that number again this year.”
Each of the 74 boats donated a minimum of $100 to FMO, all the way up to one extremely generous donation of $10,000. The club’s 50/50 raffle raised an additional $2,500.
Currently, Fort Myers Offshore has more than 100 boating members. Its members aren’t only from Southwest Florida – FMO also has members from other parts of Florida, including the east coast, with many members from as far away as Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and even Canada.
Ft. Myers Offshore hosts seven or eight boating events every season between October and April, including fun runs.
For more information visit www.ftmyersoffshore.com and Ft. Myers Offshore, Inc. (FMO) on Facebook.