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Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accident

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Old 02-04-2007, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

naplesnews.com

Boat enthusiasts hold fundraiser for crash survivor

Money raised went toward a college fund for Jennifer Molter, who lost her mother, brother, sister and her sister’s fiancé in a boat crash last month on Big Marco Pass

By I.M. Stackel

Originally published — 12:22 a.m., February 4, 2007
Updated — 3:25 a.m., February 4, 2007

There were young mothers cradling infants, veteran boaters, hundreds of onlookers and cameras rapidly clicking to catch sleek powerboats pulling up to downtown Naples docks.

Southwest Floridians converged on Bayfront in Naples on Saturday afternoon to raise at least $25,000 for a college trust fund for Jennifer Molter, 16.

She is the sole survivor of a boat crash last month on Big Marco Pass in which she lost her mother, brother, sister and her sister’s fiancé.

Organizer Bob Barnhart surveyed the gathering from the “Intrepid” — his Nor-Tech powerboat — and declared it a success despite the windy weather.

“We were expecting more boats, but some of the smaller boats didn’t come out because of the wind,” Barnhart said.

While he had anticipated at least 50, he estimated some 35 to 40 boats made the trip from the Sanibel Island Bridge, a journey that began at 11 a.m.

The event was hosted by Fort Myers Offshore, a group of boating enthusiasts, and Nor-Tech, a company that builds powerboats in North Fort Myers.

Each boat’s captain was expected to contribute at least $100 to the fund, with each additional passenger kicking in an extra $25 to $50.

“I’m happy with the good turnout,” he said. “I think we’re going to meet the goal and probably surpass it.”

Additionally, scores of visitors — many of whom didn’t know the Molter family — lined up to buy raffle tickets.

Advanced Home Loans owner Joe Orlando, a Marco Island resident, bought $100 worth of raffle tickets. He then thought again and asked to purchase another $100.

Naples resident and mom Lisa Wilkinson, who was staffing the raffle table with her daughter Alyssa, 17, looked at Orlando with surprise: “Another $100?” she asked, to be sure of what she heard.

“I’m a boater, too. It’s very sad,” Orlando said, although he doesn’t know the Molter family.

Alyssa and her mom participated because Alyssa worked with Jennifer at Straight from New York Bagels in North Naples.

Also, “my dad’s is one of the boats,” Alyssa said of the vessel called “Specialized.”

A passerby stepped up to the table, asking how much raffle tickets cost, to which Lisa Wilkinson replied: “$5 or anything you want to donate.”

North Naples Fire Commissioner Chris Lombardo was standing at the ticket booth, chatting with acquaintances.

The Molters are a longtime Collier County family, “generations upon generations,” Lombardo said. “They’ve always been very community minded. They’ve had a run of tragedy in the family but they’ve hung tough.”

Saturday’s event was “one of those little reminders that we’re a small town,” Lombardo said of Naples, Collier County and all of Southwest Florida. “It’s things like this that bring us together.”

Naples resident Sharney Perrow was on the Bayfront dock bar deck, greeting friends.

She grew up and went to school with several of the Molter clan, she said.

“We were also boating on the day of the accident,” Perrow said.

Stoney’s Steakhouse contributed to the event by serving an outdoor lunch to boaters and their guests for $20 each, Barnhart said, although he didn’t have time to stay for lunch.

Until 5 p.m. today, the boaters are hosting an online auction at www.offshoreonly.com. Up for grabs: a week at a three-bed, three-bath beachfront condo on Marco Island, a boat-lettering job and a New York Yankees World Series uniform signed by pitcher Mariano Rivera.

Straight from New York Bagels owner Vince Furlani will host a second benefit at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Elks Lodge, featuring British comedian Jimmy Keys, and live music from the Powerhouse Band, Ray Nesbit, Wonderful Johnson, and David Johnson and Michael Goods. He hopes to raise $15,000 to help Alan and Jennifer Molter pay some bills.

Jennifer’s mother, Linda Molter, her brother, James Molter, her sister, Meagan Molter, and Meagan’s fiancé Harper Simpson II were killed when the 1994 Powerplay speed boat they were riding in flew into the air, slammed back into the water and broke apart.

Jennifer was the lone survivor. Alan Molter wasn’t on the boat.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the lead agency investigating the cause of the crash.

© 2006 Naples Daily News and NDN Productions. Published in Naples, Florida, USA by the E.W. Scripps Co.
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

Thanks, Bob, Hans, Nate, John, John, et. all for a great event. Great hearts, great people, great organization.

John
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

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I can't find the words to describe everything I saw today. We had an exceptional time-- the threat of bad weather kept the turnout lower than expected in numbers, but it was bigger in heart than we could have ever imagined.

Here are three pictures that say a lot: Bob and Jennifur, the Molter family members in attendance, and a bird's eye view of the docks.

I'm very proud to be a member of this community.

(more pix later.)
I can't say it any better Jay, I too am very proud to be a member of this very unselfish group!!!!!! Thanks to everyone who stepped up and contributed in whatever manner. Looking forward to our next outing.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

Thanks for posting the newspaper article Phantom1. Just a couple of corrections.

1 ] Most probably know that my boat is not called the " Intrepid", not that it is important

2] While Nor Tech was a donor, I did not intend that any single sponsor or donor would be singled out as they could not all be mentioned.

3] The one that really got me was the article said I didn't have time to stay for lunch when the reality was "I did not have time for lunch". My first meal of the day was at 7PM last night. LOL

There are probably a few other inacuracies but those ones stood out a bit to me.

Also note that I may not post a whole lot today as I am still busy with wrapping up some things and I am still comming down from a day I will never forget. It was really special to see the smiles on the faces of Jennifur and the Molter family after so much sadness. Ft Myers Offshore, all of OSO and everyone who contributed in some way should all feel very proud of themselves today. I may write more later or tomorrow. The auction will close today at 5 PM as scheduled.
Thank you so much everyone,
Bob
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

I have some funny stories from yesterday but probably won't be on-line until tomorrow. If the Red Apache fleece is still available, I'll bid $150.00 for it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

Wow you guys are awesome, my hats off to you. Not only did you do a good thing for a devasted family, you were able to show a sea side community what caring and generous people offshore boaters are. Congratulations to you all.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

It was a wonderful event!

Thank you, BobtheBuilder for organizing, and all the others for assisting, and making this such a success. While Carol and I didn't get to boat down (off line and out of town the last two weeks), we drove instead, it was still great to be around all the gang!

Makes me proud to be part of the FMO.

Perry Stephens
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

Great Job folks !

Bob , is there an address we can send a donation directly to the Jennifur Molter Fund ?

Thanks !

JM
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

Inspite of marginal weather, winds and sea conditions, we we very happy to be a small part of a great event. Hats off to everyone invloved.
It was truly a day to be proud to be a member of this community.
Terry Sobo
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Ft Myers Offshore Fun Run to benefit sole survivor of Marco Island Boating Accide

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Great Job folks !

Bob , is there an address we can send a donation directly to the Jennifur Molter Fund ?

Thanks !

JM
Donations may be sent to: "The Jennifer Molter Trust";
c/o Bob Barnhart, 870 South Collier Blvd; Unit 202; Marco Island , FL 34145.

Thank you,
Bob
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