Monday, October 1, 2007

The Plan for our Project

Guy deBoer who is a local real estate agent owns a boat here in Key West which he takes out on the pristine waters of our Island on a regular basis, his catamaran hulled powerboat is a familiar site here in the Key West bight. Guy loves sailing and competed in a few great sailing events. Guy invited me for a sunset cruise on his "Miranda" it was a beautiful night as usual and the drive home came way to soon.
When Guy piloted the boat in to the Key West Bight he made a suggestion saying that I should buy the Schooner Western Union.
Theo, he said, you are the only person I know that can rally the people together to restore this unique part of Key west History.
For $900,000 you can own this ship... I can set you up with an appointment to talk to the owners of the ship. he said...
The next morning Jeff Salzman, A local Key West ships man who lived her in the Key West Bight, entered our Coffee Plantation Coffee Shop, Jeff has been living the boat life for as long as he can remember. Jeff takes credit for the September 11th memorial and peace concert here in Key West, which he organized after the Sept 11 attacks. His desire to do good for the community is very inspiring and addictive. Theo, he said, think of all the good things we can do with this ship...
The educational value, an fund raising tool for other non for profits. Or think about the idea as the Flag ship of Key West how much fun the people of Key West can have with there own City ship...
I was convinced now where do we find $900,000 I asked.
Don't worry, Jeff said, we are going to try to get the ship for free. and this is how we do that.
This is our plan.

We start The Schooner Western Union Preservation Society, Inc. The society is going to be a not for profit corporation founded for the purpose of restoring, maintaining and operating the historic Schooner Western Union in Key West. In addition to the restoration of the schooner our society will use the boat for local charitable events, educational outreach and children’s activities.
The Schooner Western Union Preservation Society will strive to preserve and share this important aspect of our heritage for the many visitors to and residents of our island. Initial funding will be obtained through corporate sponsorships, grants, and individual donations. Once the initial maintenance and repairs is completed and Coast Guard certification is restored, funds will be generated from the daily operation of the vessel by offering sailing experiences in the waters surrounding Key West. The S.W.U.P.S. will create a fund from income exceeding operating expenses for the purpose to restore and maintain the vessel in the future

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