Anchors Away Foundation Unites Communities for 10th Anniversary

Apr 15, 2014
The colorful sailboats lined up along the shore of Oleta State River Park as a steady stream of city ofcials, Miami-Dade School Board members, businesses, community leaders, disabled children and student mentors gathered to celebrate the Anchors  Away  Foundation’s  10th anniversary. It was a prime example of the magic that happens when government, communities, businesses and schools work together to help those in need. 

Anchors Away began 10 years ago when Dr. Jayne Greenberg of Miami-Dade County Public Schools enlisted the help of Elaine Adler of the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC), to create a new Marine Academy that would teach disabled students how to sail on their own while learning science, math and life skills. The AMC exceeded Greenberg’s desire for one specially -equipped access dinghy by developing a !eet over the years of 37 special-access sailboats thanks to the leadership of Aventura Commissioner Billy Joel, serving as the Anchors Away Chair since the beginning of
this heartwarming program. The special boats are designed not to tip over and can provide hands-free steering that allows children who don’t have use of their arms to have an incredible sailing experience. The Anchors Away Foundation gives disabled children the freedom on the water that they may not have on land. David Diamond of Miami-Dade Public Schools ensures the success ofthe day- to-day operations with the help of teachers and student mentors from schools throughout the county. Over 2,500 sailings take place annually for students at the home base of Oleta River State Park, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Yacht Club and soon Biscayne National Park.

More than 150 guests and students were welcomed by Joel and Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota Helfman/VP of the Anchors Away
Foundation, as well as Anchors Away Foundation Project Director Leslie Loewenthal.
The crowd was moved and inspired by the heartfelt words delivered by many VIPs. Enid Weisman of Human Capital Management at
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, School Board vice chairman Dr. Larry Feldman and school board members Dr. Tee Holloway
and Dr. Martin Karp, Greenberg and Florida State Sen. Gwen Margolis participated in the ceremony and spoke passionately
about the program and how much it means to so many children. The School Board presented medallions of honor to Comm. Joel, Cliff Schulman, Elaine Adler and to Anchors Away ‘star sailor’ Kathryn Guevera for their contribution and commitment
to the Anchors Away Foundation. Other VIPs included North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo and Councilwoman Phyllis
Smith, Aventura Vice Mayor Howard Weinberg and the Hon. Bob Diamond from Aventura; the Hon. Gerry Goodman from Sunny
Isles Beach; Hallandale Beach Vice Mayor Alex Levy and Oleta River Park’s Barry Stevens.
Gloria and Herb Barker of Barker Animation Art Gallery were thanked for donating a signed Hanna Barbera piece of artwork,
valued at $2,500, titled, “Anchors Aweigh,” featuring Gene Kelly and Jerry the House Mouse from Tom and Jerry. Also featured
are the signatures of Gene Kelly and the cartoon’s creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. This valuable piece of artwork will be
auctioned online soon to benet Anchors Away. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience when Joel shared the touching
story of the foundation’s meager beginnings to what it has developed into. Joel, a philanthropist and boat enthusiast, took on the program
leadership in honor of his late brother, Jack Joel, and at the rest Anchors Away boat Launch his friends surprised him and his wife by
sponsoring a boat named the “Jack Joel.” Since the beginning, Joel says, this program and its growth have been a, “work of heart.”
For the past 10 years, the Anchors Away Foundation has grown, gaining international recognition for giving children with physical and
intellectual disabilities the gift of independence on the water, while uniting the participation of all aspects of the communities it serves.

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