Freedom Waters Volunteers standing holding sign

Volunteers during a previous Freedom Waters Foundation event.

The organizers of Freedom Waters Foundation Days are looking for a few more boats, volunteers, and participants for its two-day event at Port Royale on the weekend of Sept. 24-25. In addition to the morning boat rides, a barbecue lunch and music at the marina will take place for all volunteers and participants each day.

Advanced registration is required.

Volunteers and boat drivers will be taking veterans and their families out on the water on Friday morning and the next day will provide boating experiences for youngsters with life-threatening diseases and their families.

“We are asking people to spread the word among the people they know who have youngsters with life-threatening illnesses and their families to come enjoy the day with us, because we want to allow as many youngsters as possible to participate,” said Debra Frenkel, a licensed clinical social worker who now serves as the organization’s executive director. “Our response for boats has been good, but we welcome others to give of their time on these two days.

“You don’t need to be a licensed captain to help take out our participants,” Frenkel said. “We’re just asking for people willing to help give our participants a nice morning on the water, something many of them have never done before.”

The group is seeking volunteer drivers and boats, from pontoons to cruisers, sailboats to run-abouts, to spend one or both days.

“Once you show up, we will take care of the rest,” Frenkel said. “Our staff have worked out all the logistics because we’ve hosted these events before. We want to make this as fun for our volunteers as for our participants.”

The group hopes to make this an annual event at Port Royale, replicating its signature event in South Florida, which has taken place for 15 years at the organization’s home base of Naples.

Port Royale Marina is the event sponsor; Yamaha is the lead sponsor. Other supporters include R. Barga and Company and Singleton Marine.

Freedom Waters Foundation was founded in March 2006 by Frenkel and yacht broker John Weller with the goal of serving individuals with special needs and veterans.

If you know of a youngster with a life-threatening illness or a veteran who might be interested in sharing this boating experience, visit, email or call 239 263-2377. Volunteers with boats can also reach out to these contacts.