Started in 2007, the Adaptive Sailing Association of BC (formerly the Disabled Sailing Association of BC)’s Breeze boat donation program offers an alternative source of funding to enable people with disabilities to experience the joy of sailing, make friends, and create new memories on the water in Vancouver, BC. By offering boat owners a quick and painless avenue to lessen the financial burden of their vessel through donation, the program is able to both fund ASABC from the eventual sale of the boat, as well as provide a tax receipt for its full independently assessed value to the donor.
To many people, going sailing is a summer tradition. For Brad Davies, our Boat Donation Coordinator, he fell in love with sailing at the age of 18 after a friend in Victoria took him out on their boat, “the seas taught me how to appreciate the unpredictable”. No stranger to our adaptive sailing programs, Brad started volunteering with ASABC in 2006 and has been helping take our clients on sails ever since. One of his favourite things is bringing non-sailors out for the first time and feeling their glee when they take control of the boat independently, “people think [sailing] is a complicated sport, but it’s not […] it’s in their head that they can’t do it”.
As an experienced volunteer, Brad in many cases would tend to more complex sails with newly rehabilitated clients coming from GF Strong, “the emotions [the clients] have when they come off the water, it’s just incredible”. To him, ASABC is about much more than recreation, “we can say we’re teaching sailing all day, but we’re not, we’re just transferring enthusiasm.”
After retiring from a lifetime of business roles, Brad found that expanding his contribution to ASABC was a natural progression. Being a lifelong sailor, he brings empathy and understanding to the process of donating one’s boat, “when a person decides to move on from sailing or powerboating it’s a tough experience, there is a lot of emotion attached to that”. To make this transition easier, he’s ensured that “Breeze is like one stop shopping […] we take care of the expenses, we take care of the survey, the moorage, insurance, everything else. It’s a very nice way to move on from the sport.”
Brad’s goal for the program this year is to raise its profile in the sailing and brokerage communities, “the program’s already got a great reputation, which makes my job easy.” When it comes to the impact of a donation, he says “it’s not necessarily the equipment or the boats or the trailers or the staff, it’s really when you see the people coming off the water”. He encourages all prospective donors to see the programs in action first-hand, “come down to Jericho, see what we do, and you’ll be wishing you made a donation even earlier.”
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