Almost 40 boats have now registered for the Variety Club of Ireland's 'Boat for Hope' charity event being held in Howth this Sunday 27th June.
This is the first time that the event is to be held in Ireland following successful days in the United States and Canada. The event is being run by the Variety Club with assistance from Howth Yacht Club, Howth/ Sutton Chamber of Commerce, Howth is Magic, the Department of Food and Fisheries, the Scouts, Dublin Fire Brigade, Howth Coastguard, the Knights of Malta, Sutton Tennis Club, Sutton Golf Club, Sutton Dinghy Club, Clontarf YBC, Howth Gardai, the Brass Monkey Restaurant and Tom Walsh Motors.
We will have about 12 - 15 visiting boats from Dun Laoghaire and Malahide to help with the event. It is expected that up to 70 Special Needs and 15 Disadvantaged Children along with their families will arrive at the club on Sunday at about 12:00 having pre-registered in the Variety Club Marquee on the green.
The organisations that are being accomodated include St Josephs School for the Visually Impared, Abacus, St Michael's House, St Mary's Baldoyle, the Dublin Downs Syndrome Branch, St Audens, St Vincents and St Raphaels.
The children and their families/ carers will be greeted at the gate by the 'Honorary Sailing Pirate' who will check their 'passes' and direct them to the Junior Room, ensuring gatecrashers are not admitted.
They will then be assigned their skippers in the Junior Room and given their lifejackets, pirate costumes/ accessories/ waterpistols etc. and when ready will be led to their boat by their boat owner/ skipper.
The 'Chief Barker' of the Variety Club of Ireland will cut a ribbon at the top of the marina walkway for a photo opportunity with the Commodore (at about 12:15) and the kids and families will then proceed to the boats.
Members of the Dublin Fire Brigade and Howth Coastguard will be on hand on the marina at the area in front of the crane and adjacent to the 'A' pontoon as well as at the hammerhead at 'A' and 'B' to assist where lifting the kids and some of the wheelchairs onto the boats. A further team of 25 club members will assist in taking lines and helping people board the boats.
The boats will leave the marina one-by-one and (weather depending) the plan is to send them to Balscaddan Bay wher they will pass 'the pirate ship' (Toucan Do) and be given 'treasure boxes' by the RIBs in situ. The boats will return to the harbour and do a circle of the fishing dock before returning to the HYC marina. Some boats may then do a second trip to ensure that all the kids enjoy this memorable experience.
The whole trip will probably last less than an hour for each boat.
The children and their families/ helpers will be led back up to the top of the marina by their skippers and directed back to the Variety Club Marquee where they will be entertained for the rest of the afternoon.
The Variety Club of Ireland would like to thank the 200 volunteers and skippers from HYC that have pledged their time and their boats to run this event. It is certain that this will create a lifelong memory for many of the children taking part.