Anchors Away Foundation recipient of their Quality of Life grant
Christopher Reeve will always be our “Superman”.
Renowned actor, television and silver screen star, the late Christopher Reeve left an indelible mark upon our world. While the world knew him as Superman, Reeve will always be remembered as an extraordinary father, husband, human rights advocate, avid adventurer, author, director and accomplished pianist and pilot. After an accident which severed his spinal cord, he knew he needed to do something for everyone else in the same condition and thus began his journey of using his name, celebrity status and voice to urge the scientific world to work faster and harder to help the patient community be heard and improve their quality of life as he believed “nothing is impossible”. A sea of change followed with his leadership in the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation that grew exponentially to re-shape the world of spinal repair research.
The Anchors Away Foundation held its 12th Anniversary Celebration with a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation at Oleta River State Park in Miami on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Physically and mentally challenged children from Miami-Dade County Public Schools participated in the launch of the new Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation boat as part of the Anchors Away Foundation program. AP Images for Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Alan T. Brown, Director of Public Impact for the foundation, travels nationally and internationally to represent the organization. This South Florida resident has adopted the motto “You can do anything”, as his 28 years in a wheelchair have seen him skydive and participate in marathons.
Brown attended the Aventura Marketing Council’s Anchors Away Foundation 12th anniversary celebration at Oleta River State Park, where the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation boat was launched in recognition of the Reeve’s Quality of Life grant. The Anchors Away Foundation, under the leadership of the Hon. Billy Joel, former Aventura Vice Mayor, provides sailing programs for physically and intellectually disabled children from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Under Joel’s leadership, and in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, there are now 38 specially-equipped access boats sailing out of Oleta River State Park, home base for the program, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club and the Miami Yacht Club, giving children the freedom on the water that they may not have on land.
Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has attended five of the six Anchors Away Foundation launches over the years, and recognizes the value and importance of this program. Not only did Supt. Carvalho sponsor an Anchors Away boat, he also made another donation towards the new Adopt- A- Boat program. Each year, over 2,500 sailings take place...and all of it is free to the students and participating schools. The Anchors Away Foundation fundraises throughout the year to purchase and maintain needed equipment, such as beach access wheelchairs and the electronic equipment that allows children who don’t have use of their arms to steer their boats with special breathing equipment.
Among the dignitaries attending this year’s celebration launch was multi-boat sponsor Miami-Dade Comm. Sally Heyman, Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman, School Board members Dr. Tee Holloway, Dr. Martin Karp and Dr. Larry Feldman, and multi-boat sponsor Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota, chairman of the Aventura Marketing Council and Vice-Chair of the Anchors Away Foundation. Leslie Loewenthal, Project Director for the Anchors Away Foundation , brought in volunteers and Jacob Bennett, Oleta Park Services Specialist, was there representing Park Manager Charles Smith.
For more information, visit www.christopherreeve.org or anchorsawayfoundation.org or aventuramarketingcouncil.com