Tuesday, November 20

Volvo Is Looking For Heros - Brian Tolkin is One

Here is some news to make you feel good:
Four years ago, Brian co-founded a nonprofit organization - Beams and Dreams - to take cancer patients, survivors, and their families on all-day boating excursions as a respite from their grueling medical challenges.

As captain of Beams and Dreams, Brian procures the extras for his guests, which include magic shows, live music, and barbecues. Brian relies solely on donations in order to procure vessels, crews, and other requirements. With the support of local and national cancer organizations, he has taken out over six hundred guests on shimmering Lake Washington and the bracing Puget Sound. On every cruise, Brian works tirelessly so that his guests on board experience a joyful voyage from start to finish.

Realizing that his family's boat alone could not match the mission of the organization, Brian and his brother mailed letters to more than one hundred boat dealers, marinas, and boat owners, outlining their idea. They concluded their pitch by noting, "It would be so amazing if we could bring smiles to these people who are going through such a rough time." It was, as the saying goes, rough sailing at first. Few replied. Those who did reply ususally said "no."

But Brian did land a number of important mariners who knew how to say "yes." The Olympic Yacht Center donated the use of a new fifty-eight-foot power boat for the group's first outing in August 2003. The general manager of Elliott Bay Marina followed up by recruiting ten boat owners to participate a week later. Brian has since hosted numerous events for over a thousand guests, all made possible by eighty-two thousand dollars of donated services.

Five years after its launch, Brian Tolkin continues to expand Beams and Dreams. He has brought on board over eleven national and local cancer organizations. He has also won over the local nautical community, which has donated exquisite yachts, an historical sailing vessel, wooden schooners, and luxurious cabin cruisers for the day-long voyages. One cancer patient, Claudia Martinez, calls Beams and Dreams an "inspiration," and not just a day on the water, adding that Brian and his brother set a great example: "I hope our boys will also do something good for the community." - Volvo for Life Awards

Nothing like a boat trip to bring out smiles!

All too often all we here is bad news. It is great to see that there are still some who look to recognize the heroes around us. There should be more of that.

This is a great country. There are many more people like Brian Tolkin who make this country the great country that it is. The bright thing is, you don't have to go that far out of your way to positively contribute to society. Simply following basic standards is a plus these days.

H/T to BitterEnd whose post on the subject is here.

Volvo for Life Awards - GO THERE AND VOTE!
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