Tag Archives: Fundraiser

Cancer-Surviving Sailor to Embark on $1 Million Circumnavigation for Charity

Cancer survivor, sailor and second-generation boat builder Johannes “Jopie” Helsen plans to embark on a $1 million around-the-world fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Heidi Trilsch and Jopie Helsen are set to sail around the world to fundraise $1 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Born in Holland and now living in St. Petersburg, Fla., Helsen, the owner of Sailor’s Wharf Yacht Yard, was diagnosed with throat cancer five years ago after experiencing pain and soreness during a sailing trip in the Mediterranean.

“I found myself rubbing my neck and I figured, with my luck, I better go see a doctor,” said Helsen, who was treated at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Fla.

Inspired by the many patients and survivors he met during treatment, Helsen knew he wanted to do something to help the fight against cancer.

During the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., he met Marty Siederer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society [LLS] and Product Lead for the Leukemia Cup Regatta. Helsen discussed with Siederer his idea – to raise $1 million during a round-the-world sailing fundraiser for the charity.

“We’re so grateful for what he’s done to support and increase awareness of our organization,” said Siederer, who’s been with the LLS for nearly 40 years. “People like Jopie are just incredible ambassadors, whether you’re into the sailing community or not, to help cure cancer. That’s a very high quality and we’re so grateful for his help.”

With Siederer’s support, the first step toward such an adventure meant that Helsen, alongside his girlfriend Heidi Trilsch, needed a boat – a hearty, seaworthy vessel built to withstand the 15-month voyage known as the World Arc.

Hosted by the World Cruising Club, World Arc is a 26,000 nautical-mile trade wind circumnavigation that departs Jan. 12, 2019 from Saint Lucia island in the Caribbean to sail around the globe – most of which in the southern hemisphere.

While Helsen and Trilsch, whose stepmother is a Lymphoma survivor, will have long stretches at sea (the longest leg is 2,980 miles across the Pacific), World Arc includes opportunities for on-shore exploration – with close to 30 stops around the world at destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora and Cape Town, South Africa.

Illustration courtesy of the World Cruising Club.

Finding the right boat for such a venture was no easy task. For Helsen, it not only had to be strong and capable for the harsh conditions at sea, but also comfortable and spacious enough for he and Trilsch, a videographer and an occasional crew member.

“We actually made an offer on two different boats that we did not get,” said Helsen, aged 71. “And now, looking back on it, we realize how impressive this boat is.”

With its sky-blue hull and matching spinnaker, Helsen purchased the aptly named and visually stunning SKY – a 57-foot dual-helm Vaudrey Miller monohull built in New Zealand and designed by Simonis Voogd in 2004.

SKY – the 57-foot monohull Helsen and Trilsch will sail around the world.

While originally built for the extremes of circumnavigation, Helsen said SKY had taken a beating over the years and needed some remodeling and upgrades ahead of the 2019 voyage.

Over the course of nearly one year, Helsen and his 13-person crew at his yacht yard worked on renovating SKY– outfitting the boat with a self-furling boom, enlarging the cockpit and making it possible for Helsen to sail single-handedly, should the need arise.

Because 100 percent of donations go to the LLS, Helsen said he needs sponsors to help offset the costs and supply parts and equipment.

When TACO Marine VP Mike Kushner got wind of Helsen’s fundraiser and SKY renovations, he arranged for the company to donate brand new Rigid Vinyl Rub Rail with a stainless-steel insert, LED lights, a custom-made helm chair and a pedestal for the boat.

TACO donated new LED Lights, which help illuminate SKY’s cockpit for enhanced safety at night.

“He’s one of these guys who’s very passionate and very active in the boating industry,” said Kushner, who first met Helsen more than 30 years ago. “Having done the TACO Marine Project Boat fundraiser myself, I have a better sense of appreciation for what he’s trying to do. It’s a really cool project.”

Another fan of Helsen’s fundraiser and someone with many friends and relatives diagnosed with Lymphoma is National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich, who’s known the sailor for several years because of his participation in the marine industry.

“I admire his adventurous spirit,” said Dammrich, who also has an endorsement published on Helsen’s website. “This is a life adventure and for a great cause. I wish them a safe voyage and return.”

With six months to go before he sets sail, Helsen said there’s still plenty to do on SKY to prep for departure, including installing new satellite equipment, rigging new electronics and conducting sea trials. He also hopes to recruit a few more sponsors to help fund the expenses while also raising awareness for the cause.

To donate to Helsen’s SV SKY 57 fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit svsky57.com and its donation page.

One hundred percent of every donation toward Helsen’s round-the-world fundraiser goes to the LLS, which is the largest nonprofit dedicated to curing blood cancers. Since 1949, LLS has donated more than $1.2 billion toward cancer research. The charity also provides patient support and has a grassroots network of more than 100,000 volunteers advocating at state and local levels for policy change and program funding.

In the coming months, we’ll be writing more about Helsen and following his journey around the globe. For more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

I’M LOGAN IT Foundation Hosts Successful Flag Football Fundraiser for Charity

After completing the TACO Marine Project Boat fundraiser for the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation in November 2017, we’re excited to recap the most recent fundraising event that took place Dec. 30, 2017 in Clearwater, Florida.

More than 33 teams and dozens of friends and family came together to participate in the 6th annual I’M LOGAN IT Foundation Flag Football Fundraiser – raising more than $20,000 for charity in memory of Logan Kushner.

Through the Foundation since 2012, more than $300,000 has been donated to charity – supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and college scholarships for deserving students.

Congratulations to the winning teams in three divisions.

“MVP” in the Top Gun division.
“Sniper Gang” in the Competitive division.
“Gabagool” in the Weekend Warrior division.

Thank you to the many volunteers who supported the Foundation in a variety of tasks, including the field set up, team sign-in, scoring, managing the raffle and silent auction, preparing and serving the lunchtime barbecue, concessions and clean up. Without the volunteers, this event would not be possible.

Special thanks to Tim Sattinger and the referees for another fantastic job on the field, Ed Grube and Events Done Right – the best DJ and entertainment in Tampa Bay, and Fanny Scargle for wonderful photography – beautifully capturing the events of such a special day.

Also, we’d like to thank our many sponsors, including Sonny’s BBQ, the American Running Company, Bouchard Insurance, Capogna’s Dugout, Don’s Marine Salvage, Huntington Learning Center and Safety Harbor Montessori for all your tremendous support.

We hope to see everyone back at the end of 2018 for the 7th annual I’M LOGAN IT Flag Football Fundraiser on Saturday, December    29.

Announcing the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation Flag Football Fundraiser!

Since 2012, TACO Metals has been a proud supporter of the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation – created in memory of Logan Kushner, to honor and preserve his unique spirit and passion for life. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire good self-esteem in youth through acts of kindness, while also providing support to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and college scholarships for deserving youth. Over the past six years, the Foundation has raised nearly $300,000 – with all the money received going to charity.

On Dec. 30, the Foundation is hosting its 6th annual Flag Football Fundraiser. Team registration for this all-day event is open now through Dec. 23. It will again take place at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater, Florida, and is a day of “fun, friendship and football” for everyone. Come out and enjoy a half-time barbecue, music, raffle and silent auction.

REGISTER HERE

Last year’s tournament saw a record 40 teams and more than 300 individuals, ages 15 and older, participate. For more information about the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation and the Flag Football Fundraiser, please visit imloganit.com or e-mail info@imloganit.com.

BECOME A TOURNAMENT SPONSOR

From all of us at TACO Metals, thank you to the sponsors, participants, volunteers and friends of the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation for all your support!

Thank You for Visiting the TACO Marine Project Boat at the Tampa Boat Show

From all of us at TACO Marine, thank you for supporting the Project Boat Raffle Fundraiser during the Tampa Boat Show! Many attendees not only bought raffle tickets but got to see and explore Project Boat in-person and learn about the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation.

Captain Fear and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders stopped by the TACO Marine Project Boat Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at the Tampa Boat Show.

All of the raffle ticket proceeds are given to the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation, which provides support to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and college scholarships to deserving students.

I’M LOGAN IT was created in memory of Logan Matthew Kushner, who passed away in 2012. The Foundation aims to help young people establish healthier self-esteem through acts of kindness and mentorship – values by which Logan lived.

The TACO Marine Project Boat raffle drawing is slated for Nov. 5 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. You can purchase tickets online at go.rallyup.com/projectboat and in-person at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Nov. 1-5 at booth #2000-A. We hope to see you there!

The TACO Marine Project Boat is sponsored by many marine leaders, including Yamaha Marine, SeaDek and many more!

Discover more about the TACO Marine Project Boat and the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation here.

BEYOND THE BOAT: TACO MARINE GIVES TO CHARITY, HELPING THOSE IN NEED