Nearly a year ago I found the Footloose Sailing Association and started volunteering. Footloose is a non-profit organization that helps disabled, and those who otherwise would not be able to, get out on the water in sailboat.
When I showed up to my first event I did not know what to expect. Bob, the Footloose President, warmly welcomed me to the group. Bob is in a wheelchair but that has not stopped him from becoming a master sailor. He even has his own sailboat rigged for him to solo sail!
I will never forget the first group I took out as the crew member on a Columbia 22. One of the ladies is in her mid 40s and was born with a condition that has kept her small and all bent over to the side. She cannot talk and kinda drools a bit. She also is in a wheelchair. This particular lady has been attending Footloose sailing events for several years. When we tossed those sails up and turned off the motor she got the biggest grin on her face and started giggling. Such joy had me hooked!
I love bringing people joy. Footloose sailing season is only during the nicer weather of the summer months. I volunteered at nearly every event, only missing for my wedding. Bob asked me to join the Board and I am now working on revamping the website and performing maintenance upgrades on the Columbia 22s.
Footloose has a traditional award they hand out at the Winter Party called the Loose Screw Award. Each year two (typically) volunteers are selected as the most outstanding volunteers of the year. This Ken and myself were chosen to receive the honor.
Apparently I am a loose screw. Not that anyone had doubts before, but now it is official!
It has been my extreme honor to work with the Footloose group and I am looking forward to participating for many years to come.
The 2016 season is starting up again in a few weeks. I am incredibly excited! Come out and join us for a sailing event sometime.