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Date:04/20/2009 Time: 09:22:56 PM      

I'm looking for some help from lots of other boat owners in many different parts of the country to help me recruit even more boaters to help me with a new boating event I'm organizing.  You may have already heard about it, www.BOASTY.org which stands for Boaters Of America Say Thank You.  I'm really just trying to do something really nice for the men and women coming home from serving our country. 

Every day we hear it on the news, "Another soldier was killed in Iraq when ...." .  For most people, we don't know these them.  But  we really should.  They are doing the work of the world for the betterment of mankind.  War is not something that anyone wants to do or be in.  But for those who have served, deserve our thanks and our gratitude. 

So instead of just clapping in an airport (which is still very cool), or saying thank you from the bottom of your heart in sign language (http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/), let's as boaters all band together to show these wonderful people how much they mean to us all!

The event is free to sign up and participate, and also the same for the troops, and will only cost your time, fuel, food, and appreciation!

Date:04/20/2009 Time: 09:28:06 PM      

To learn about the event and how it all got started, go to http://www.BOASTY.org/

Or if you would just like to get registered now, go to http://doit.boasty.org/

If you already have a HotBoatDeals.com member account you can use that same account to log into the BOASTY registration system....

Date:05/30/2009 Time: 02:41:27 PM      

Does anyone know somebody which can help me get the word out to the troops to let them know about how the boat owners across the states want to take them out for a day of boating?  

I started working on BOASTY on November 30th 2008 to organize it so that the boaters information would be protected, the veterans would also be protected and so that the two could safely get together.  In January I began trying to sign up boaters across the US by doing trade shows, sending emails, calling, faxing, talking with people on the street, in the marina's, pulling favors with people I know, and getting the story into 12 magazines this spring. 

I began calling on, emailing, calling hospitals, va hospitals, american legions, vfw posts, and so on a month and a half ago.  I thought the vets would love to get hooked up to go boating for a day.  But all I got from people was that they weren't sure if they were aloud to tell anyone about boasty. 

However, just about everyone I've ever told about the idea / event has just loved it!  They think it's great!  I mean 12 magazines published the story without any mention of money! 

I'm just a little frustrated today because last weekend (memorial day) was the first day we had 6 boats/people signed up for and not one single vet/person signed up to go out with them.  I have had calls this week from around the counrty from some people which said that if they'd had some better notice of BOASTY that they could have hooked up some vets/people with our boaters. 

I still need more help to get this out to the right people.  So, can you help me?

If so, give me a call. 630-299-6999 - Branden

Date:10/01/2009 Time: 08:05:49 PM      

It's been a very busy summer and now we're getting into fall and I thought I'd take a few minutes to add to my BOASTY blog and let you all in on what we've done so far. 

BOASTY is a success.  Not quite as big as I'd hoped for this past spring when we first started, but still a success.  We started off in May with Memorial day.  We had the 7 boats signed up at various locations across the country to take people out but only one of them was able to get connected with some soldiers for their day.  The next few weeks had similar troubles, finding the troops and veterans which wanted to participate.  Up to this point we had been basically been depending on the relationships we were led to believe were going to work with the existing veterans associations.  After the fact, most of them told me that they could not let their members know about us because boasty was not their event.  They were afraid that we'd somehow be stealing their members. 

As a solution to the problem I started calling military bases directly and calling recruiting offices to find active duty personnel which were interested.  This worked much better!  Coupled with our efforts to find some kind of mass media to get the word out the troops we found the Military Times publications which put a front cover story in all four of their newspapers.  The put in an article titled "  A Cool Way to Say Thanks " in their July 13th issue.  It seemed to hit their readers a week earlier but in any case went out to 500,000 troops worldwide!   Some of the points were slightly off, but all in all, the message was there.  From it, we found nearly 100 people which signed up for the events around the country.  

Not all the people have been matched with boaters yet but we're working on it.  Due to small craft advisories and other types of problems some of the outings were postponed.  To my knowledge, many such outings were rescheduled for later dates and still done.

In August on the 22nd, one boater (Nicole) which found out about BOASTY in Boating Magazine organized our biggest and most successful day yet.  With our new tactics of calling military bases and recruiting offices I made some initial connections and Nicole further cultivated to bring more than 90 people out of the Houston / Conroe area.  She was also able to get 28 boats with 60 boat owners from her marina and a few others on the lake to join in on the fun.  The day started off with a few speeches, registrations / waivers and setting out onto the lake.  The boats in about 30 minutes made it to the south end of the lake and all rafted together for an arial show by the Texas Freedom Flyer Team followed by hot dogs and a bit of "Chillaxin" by the dam.   By 6:00 pm we were back at the marina and getting ready for a Texas Style BBQ (best damn bbq I've ever had) dinner a raffle and danced the night away! 

I tell you, those texans know how to party and give thanks to our troops!  I want to move down there!  I loved it there. 

There was TONS of talk about a BOASTY / Family Freedom Cruise at the New Jersey Battleship in Camden NJ but the parks and recreation office wanted some kind of umbrella insurance policy to cover our guests while they walked from their cars to the docks to get on the boats.  So the idea was scrapped and the organizers of that location just ended up doing it from their marina's instead.  They sort of lost sight in the beginning of what boasty was about but in the end ended up doing a fine job and just getting their people out on the boats. 

The bottom line is that BOASTY is now only 10 months old from it's initial inception and has had over 300 people out boating between the boaters themselves and the soldiers/veterans and their families.  I hope it only grows from here.  I'm always looking for more people to help.  And there are many ways to do just that.  So if you have time to organize an event in your own area, just call me and let's work on putting it together.  If you just want to make phone calls to get the word out, that would be just about the biggest help because personal calls have been the one thing that has led to our success. 

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