WHAT: 2nd annual CCSO Build-A-Boat Regatta and Picnic
DATE: Friday, Aug. 19
TIME: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Lake Avalon at Sugden Regional Park, 4284 Avalon Drive, East Naples
For the second year in a row, teens who participated in the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Build-A-Boat program over the summer will take to the oars of their handmade rowboats for a final rendezvous on the water.
The event will be the grand finale to mark the end of Summerfest, CCSO’s summer youth activities extravaganza, now in its second year. The event will also feature Build-A-Boat participants and their families as well as representatives of the more than 200 community partners in all the Summerfest programs. Deputies will serve up hot dogs from the grill and cold beverages.
“With the help of our many community partners the Collier County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to provide kids of all ages with fun activities in a safe environment over the summer,’’ Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk said.
CCSO partnered with Tamiami Ford, Lions Club of Everglades City, Sunshine Ace Hardware, Randy’s Fishmarket, North Naples Firefighters Benevolent Fund, and Lowe’s to offer the Build-A-Boat program for the third year in a row.
Thirty-one teens got firsthand experience in woodworking, boat building and job skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The overall goal of the program is not just to build a boat. The program also teaches leadership skills and builds positive relationships between the youngsters and law enforcement.
Participants also learned about boating safety. Deputies from CCSO’s Marine Unit presented a safe boating course. At the end of the week, participants were eligible to take the test for a boating safety education card, which is required for anyone younger than 21 in order to operate a boat in Florida.
Five 12-foot, 450-pound Bevin’s Skiff rowboats were constructed from kits over the summer. The boats were built at Everglades School in Everglades City, at the CCSO Special Operations hangar and the I-Tech Center in Immokalee.
After the regatta, the boats will be given to the program’s sponsors to display at their businesses.
Due to the success of Build-A-Boat, CCSO added a Build-A-Chair program this summer.
Middle-school students learned to work with tools and work together - with help from deputies - while building Adirondack-style chairs. Forty chairs were built at Lely High School, Golden Gate Middle School, Immokalee Middle School, and Everglades Community Center. Each participant got to take home a finished chair. This was made possible by donations from Home Depot, D. Garrett Construction and Raymond Building Supply Corp.