Orphans' Fund sponsors new sailboat for disabled sailors
By Paul Gowan
When the CKNW Orphans' Fund received a request from the Disabled Sailing
Association of BC (DSA) for a new sailboat, it knew the request fit its
mission to help special needs children in BC.
In November, the Orphans' Fund agreed to sponsor
the purchase of a Martin 16 sailboat - a specially designed, completely
safe sailing vessel employed by DSA for use by disabled sailors.
The roots of the CKNW Orphans' Fund date to
1945, when, during fledgling CKNW's second season, the station began a
Christmas drive for orphans at a Protestant home in New Westminster. The
appeal was so successful, the fund continued to grow from there. The
Orphans' Fund takes donations from the community and distributes funds
to BC charities and organizations that work on behalf of special needs
In the 1970s when CKNW administrator Shirley
Stocker started at the station, local on-air legends, such as Rick Honey
and Gary Bannerman, were bringing the Orphans' Fund appeal to ever more
Stocker has also produced the annual CKNW
Orphans' Fund Pledge Day, an all-day, on-air December fundraiser that
runs from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. non-stop with time out only for news, weather
and sports. CKNW's 25th annual Pledge Day aired last Dec. 5th.
Stocker says the Orphans' Fund knew that
adopting a boat would provide a greater number of children with
disabilities quality recreational opportunities.
The new craft, due at DSA's Jericho Beach
sailing headquarters in May, will test the waters off English Bay with
the Orphans' Fund name displayed proudly on the hull. The mainsail will
carry the CKNW logo.
Since DSA's start in 1988, the demand for its
sailing programs has billowed skyward, particularly from young sailors
eager to pit their skills against the elements.
Four years ago, DSA operated four Martin 16s.
The addition of the 'NW vessel brings DSA's fleet total to eight. In
2003, DSA doubled the number of sails it provided over 2002 with 700,
280 of those for children.
For more information on DSA sailing programs,
or call 604-688-6464.