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Reinventing the ABYC Foundation: 
President John Adey reflects on the Foundation's past, and looks forward to its present

From time to time things need a rehab, a touch up or even serious reconstruction. Such is the situation with the ABYC Foundation. Many of you may know that the ABYC is really two entities: the Council, which writes the standards, performs the education and membership functions; and the Foundation, which owns our building at 613 Third Street in Annapolis and survives from its duties as a landlord and charitable donations.

Years ago, when ABYC bought its first building in Edgewater, we had a generous benefactor, Richard Bunzl who provided a million dollar donation ($100K per year for 10 years!) that sustained the Foundation through some turbulent times. Fast forward several years after the maturity of the Richard Bunzl donation and we have a Foundation that, in a word, is just "surviving." Faced with a choice, the Foundation Board led by Chairman Joe Charles has decided to "reinvent" the Foundation. Among many things this includes a new mission followed by a sense of purpose for the Foundation.

ABYC has been a key player in many safety improvements since its inception in 1954. From early accidents involving the lack of ignition protection, to modern tragedies such as Carbon Monoxide poisoning or electric shock drowning, ABYC has found funding to research and provide reasonable, attainable solutions to address injuries and deaths in boating. The common thread here is funding. For the most part, the dollars come from the Sportfish Restoration Fund administered by the USCG Office of Boating Safety, through their non-profit grant program. This process requires that the goals of ABYC and the USCG are aligned and that we all perceive the accidents/solutions with a similar point of view. That has always worked well and though I believe it will always continue, I do see a future where private dollars will be needed to fund projects that may not be on the USCG radar but that our membership feels are significant enough to tackle on our own. These projects could range from changes to the standards, to address an issue or improvements in educational offerings, or to raise the bar on service and technical knowledge. Bottom line, if the Foundation is healthy, then ABYC has the resources to ensure the best in boating safety for years to come. So what is your part? It could be a simple as checking the $30.00 donation box when you join or renew; it could be referring a potential donor to us to show them how they can "invest in boating safety." As with all non-profit charitable organizations, any donation is tax deductible. So, watch for our new message for the ABYC Foundation and expect great things for boating safety as the Foundation collects funds for the future of boating.

 


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