Group of four adults and one child in a wheelchair posing for photo

Participants in a previous Freedom Waters Foundation event.

Last year’s event for veterans, children with life-threatening illnesses/special needs and their families was so successful, it’s returning to Lake Lanier and Port Royale Marina the weekend of September 17-18. Organized by the Freedom Waters Foundation, it’s a chance for people who may not have access to boating because of physical or other limitations to experience time on the water.

To support the two-day event, organizers are seeking volunteer boats and captains, land-event volunteers and sponsors.

“We had such an amazing amount of support from the Lake Lanier boating community, and our families enjoyed the event so much, we’re coming back for a second year,” said Debra Frenkel, founder and executive director of the group based in Naples, Florida. “We hope that this year’s Freedom Waters Foundation Weller Day Boat outings days will be able to serve even more veterans, children with life-threatening illnesses/special needs and their families.”

Saturday’s boating day will focus on veterans and their spouses; on Sunday, children with serious illnesses/special needs and their families will be hosted for boat rides. On both days, Port Royale Marina and various sponsors will provide lunch and entertainment for the participants, guests, boat owners and volunteers.

Frenkel is seeking private boats of all types and their owners to provide rides on one or both days. She is also asking for sponsors and for volunteers for the land events.

“People who go boating regularly might not know what it’s like for those who don’t,” she said. “That’s why Freedom Waters Foundation hosts these two-day boating events at Lake Lanier, in Indiana and all over south Florida. It has been so rewarding and amazing to see how much our participants and volunteers enjoy time on the water. For many of them, it’s a dream come true.”

To volunteer a boat or your time, or to provide sponsorship, Frenkel has asked people to contact her, either through the organization’s website at or to call her at 239 263-2377. She can answer questions about the program and provide more details about the Port Royale Marina event.