Toronto's Boat Show preview raises more than $47,000 for kids

Toronto International Boat Show - in the dead of winter
.. .
The numbers are just out. Hundreds of kids will be going to camp thanks to the over $47,000 worth of generosity of boat show patrons who attended the preview night of the Toronto International Boat Show.

It may have been the dead of winter, but dyed-in-the-wool boaters who attended a special preview of the 2013 Toronto International Boat Show were charting their courses and dreaming of the day they’d be back out on Ontario’s lakes and rivers.

Toronto International Boat Show - dreaming of summer sailing while raising money for kids
.. .

They were also thinking about the kids who may not have the chance to enjoy blissful summer days in the great outdoors.

The boat show’s 55th annual VIP event, held in January, raised $47,352 for the Fresh Air Fund, the Ontario Sailing disabled program and CNIB Lake Joe Centre. Over the past 12 years, the preview night has raised more than $630,000 for children’s charities.

'Our community of boaters is very giving and caring — they’re a great group of individuals who give back,' said Cynthia Hare, show manager for Canadian Boat Shows, who said supporting children’s charities is fitting because boating is a family-oriented activity as much fun for kids as adults.

More than 1,200 boating enthusiasts turned out for Toronto Boat Show’s 2013 Special Preview Night Supporting Children’s Charities, along with 550 exhibitors. Attendees bid on more than 100 live and silent auction items, including a Crownline 19SX sport boat package donated by Pride Marine Group and Crownline.

The generosity of donors helps make wishes come true and makes a difference in the lives of less fortunate children who might not otherwise go to camp.

'It’s extremely gratifying that our industry is able to support these initiatives that directly impact the quality of life of children in our community,' Hare said. 'The added bonus is that the evening provides a unique shopping experience for the consumer.'

They’ll do it all again next year.

'This tremendous donation will help the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund support 103 camps this summer and allow as many as 25,000 underprivileged and special needs children enjoy an unforgettable camp experience,' said Barb Mrozek, director of Toronto Star Charities and Philanthropy. 'We are truly grateful for the hard work and efforts put into this event to help give children a memory that will last a lifetime.'

What a good idea for any boat show!