Dear Friends of FOBH:

The good news is that it was a good year! The smiling Mayors’ Cup sailors personify the FOBH mission: we are a volunteer-driven nonprofit educational organization which promotes the health and vitality of the Shark River Bay and those who live, work and play on, in and around it, by providing to all — but especially to youth and families of limited means, abilities or opportunities – adventures in competitive and recreational sailing, kayaking, ecosystem tours, shoreline cleanups and related activities that are accessible, affordable and fun.

The fun began with our official launch of the sailing season at our Summer Solstice SAIL-abration on Friday June 17.  It was great to see so many of you at our Maclearie Park sailing center enjoying the summer sounds of the Shore Blue Band, sailing on the “Agave Illusion,” and sharing good food and drink.  We were particularly happy to welcome Bill Shipers, founder of FOBH, and Bill Merkler, a founding supporter, to the party.  They joined French & Parrello Associates and Alex and Karan Taylor as generous underwriters of the SAIL-abration.  Many thanks to all.

With registrations having built steadily since March, Junior Sailing began on June 27 under our expert head instructor Brian Hull who returned for his third year with FOBH.  That same day Geoff Moritz, new to FOBH, began as head instructor for our Shark River Discovery Camp.  More good news! Total enrollment in junior sailing last year – 2015 – was 142 while in 2016 our junior sailors numbered 165! 2015 Discovery Camp participants numbered 78 in 2015, with the 2016 number reaching 158, more than doubling!!  Clearly, the demand for our programs and the powerful and enriching impact they have upon our young people continues to grow.

This  growth, of course, comes with challenges.  Like you and your family, FOBH faces increased expenses each year.  And while we were honored to accept not only $8,000 in underwriter gifts for our SAIL-abration but also grants of $1,000 and $2,000 from, respectively, the Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation and the Kearny Bank Foundation, FOBH has always relied upon friends like you to keep us sailing.

FOBH Burgee

Most importantly, the success of FOBH is greatly due to fulfilling our mission of keeping our programs affordable, a tradition we could not maintain without your generosity.  This year’s junior sailing fee was $250 per week, and Discovery Camp was $200.  For most families that cost is not only affordable but a real bargain, considering the lifelong benefits our programs bring to their children.  The return on the investment is immeasurable.  And it’s simply a great way to spend the summer!

Yes, 2016 was a good year for FOBH.  Our programs are popular, and we continue our outreach to local school officials in order to build relationships across communities.

In November we started calling parents/guardians to see how they felt about their 2016 summer with FOBH.  Here’s

a sample of what they said:

  • “My kids have been in it for years.  It’s a gem.  We want to continue to be involved.  I will definitely continue to support it”
  • “I am a big fan of FOBH.  My two older daughters did it and now they are getting their certifications.  They had so much FUN!”
  • “He’s been there 3 summers.  He LOVES it.”
  • “They started at 8 and 10 years old; they’re 12 and 14 now.  They did sailing and discovery camp this year.  They liked the diversity of the camp.”
  • “He wanted to have his birthday party at the discovery camp site.  Mr. Moritz was willing to take it on.  He brought all his friends to his party, and they are talking about next summer already.  A great marketing idea, don’t you think?”

Our goal is to have another good year in 2017.  Please help us do that.  CLICK HERE to make your tax-deductible gift.

If you prefer to send a check, please make it payable to “FOBH” and mail it to FOBH, PO Box 454, Belmar, NJ 07719.

On behalf of the young people and their families who sail and discover with FOBH, thank you for your support.