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From the Canadian Safe Boating Council: Pirates Come Ashore for Boat For Hope 2020
December 3, 2020 | Photo courtesy Canadian Safe Boating Council

Over the past 21 years the Boat For Hope event has taken thousands of special needs kids, and their support systems, out on the waters of Vancouver for a day of pirate activities, returning to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for a land portion called “Treasure Island”. A park area offers food, entertainment, music, engagement with the kids and a host of other activities. The event has raised close to $2.5 million to help Variety – the Children’s Charity support the kids beyond this one day event.

This year COVID restrictions threatened to scupper the event. But pirates are nothing if not resourceful, and turned into landlubbers for a day! Rick Cassels and his organizing committee worked with the Coquitlam Centre management, the Mayor of the City of Coquitlam, the Fraser Health Authority and the marine community in Vancouver to turn the September 13, 2020 event into a drive-through in which the kids and their families stayed in their boats (cars) and went through a course just like they would if they were out on the water, with different pirate activities at each Treasure Island and the ever-popular water fight. Over the course of the day around 400 kids in 200 family cars were able to enjoy the pirate activities, a concert, snacks and “loot”.

After the event was over, the pirates snuck back to their ships, and were last seen sharpening their cutlasses to be ready for next year. If you’d like to make a donation to this worthy cause, go to

Editor’s note: during CSBC Board deliberations, Rick has always been the most collegial of colleagues, but now that we have seen his fierce pirate alter ego (above), we may just do what he says a whole lot more in future!

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