Hall of Fame Marina Salutes Dive4Vets during National Marina Days

June 19, 2019

Hall of Fame Marina Salutes Dive4Vets during National Marina Days

Hall of Fame Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. announces Dive4Vets as its charity beneficiary for its annual National Marina Days celebration on June 22, 2019.

Hall of Fame’s National Marina Days (NMD) celebration includes a fun morning cruise on S/Y Spirit of Lauderdale for Veterans and guests. The route follows the Intracoastal to Port Everglades into the Atlantic Ocean and return. Immediately following the cruise, the JROTC color guard of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and our National Anthem, followed by a program honoring Veterans and a luncheon at G&B Restaurant, including a Fallen Soldier Table.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis will present the city’s proclamation celebrating National Marina Days and honoring Dive4Vets. With one week left for fundraising, generous marine industry sponsors have already raised $3,300 towards a beach accessible wheelchair and other equipment to aid Veterans in SCUBA diving.*

“Diving is a fun recreational activity on the water and that’s the mission behind National Marina Days,” said Scott Salomon, CMM, and marina manager of Hall of Fame Marina. “We are happy to shine the spotlight on Dive4Vets and believe in their mission to help our nation’s Veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country and our freedom. If we help save one Veteran’s life by helping them learn to dive and to enjoy the water, then we have really accomplished something important, together.”

Sponsors may raise enough funds for two beach accessible wheelchairs according to Salomon, who reports one sports wheelchair was also donated.

Kary McNeal, a dive professional and founder of Dive4Vets, is a retired gunnery sergeant and US Marine Corps Veteran. He established Dive4Vets as one solution to counteract Veteran suicides, which sadly average 22 lives lost daily for combat deployed Veterans.

“Frankly, I started Dive4Vets because I just got tired of going to funerals,” said McNeal, who explains the water is a great equalizer. “Diving is a social sport where everyone is interdependent on each other and removes the isolation factor plaguing so many Veterans. Diving cannot be enjoyed alone and gives Veterans more confidence and higher self esteem.”

McNeal’s company, Aquatic Ventures, certifies about 700 divers annually. About 20-percent are Veterans whose first SCUBA certification is completely funded by Dive4Vets. Veterans dive over 60 fascinating wrecks off the shores of Broward County, like The Windward Trader just off the shore of the Pompano Beach fishing pier.

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