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Powerboat Racing's Big Brother - Santiago at Ft. Myers Race for Child Smile Tour

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Old 05-15-2003, 02:45 PM
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FtLaudGranPrix
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Talking Powerboat Racing's Big Brother - Santiago at Ft. Myers Race for Child Smile Tour

Powerboat Racing’s Big Brother
Doc Santiago Shares a Ride at the Ft. Myers Offshore Gran Prix
Funds to benefit Ft. Myers Race Event Children’s Charities
By Michelle May -Schmidt

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - - Wow! Any kid would love a Big Brother like Dr. Gerardo Santiago, also known as the National and World Champion Powerboat Racing Dentist. Getting him to clean your teeth is one thing, but getting a ride in his world famous Zero Cavity Raceboat is another. As luck would have it, a number of kids from the Big Brothers- Big Sisters of Southwest Florida will be able to share a ride with him, and get a tooth brush, as he makes his way to the Ft. Myers Offshore Grand Prix & Air Show, a stop on 2003 Child SMILE America Tour.
"Our mission at Big Brothers – Big Sisters is to provide quality volunteer and professional services for single parent families to assist their children in achieving their potential, as they grow to become responsible men and women. Dr. Santiago is a shining star in our charity, and a great role model for our kids," said Rachel Witt, recruiter for Big Brothers- Big Sisters of Lee County, who adds that they celebrate their 30th Anniversary this year.
While over 200 volunteers lend support to the site based programs, now in 26 area schools, over 400+ more volunteer their time on the weekends to provide fun and creative activities in a mentoring environment. "The powerboat rides are an exciting way to teach them safe boating techniques and meeting Dr. Santiago is one more reason to encourage their bright smiles," said Witt, who is always looking for new programs, and people to lend support of their cause.
And, as part of the 2003 Child SMILE America Tour, a $5,000.00 donation will be made to the Ft. Myers Beach Offshore Grand Prix Children’s Charities, due to the "Santa Claus of Offshore," Barkley Geib, of Buford, Georgia.
"We have supported the great work being done for the kids for a number of years through the Ft. Myers Beach Offshore Grand Prix, and we thought the event fit perfectly into our Child SMILE America Tour this year as well. The kids will get the powerboat rides from the Doc, and the Ft. Myers Beach Offshore Grand Prix & Air Show will get the donation to help them continue showing the kids that there are people out there who care, and that we care all year long. It’s all about the little people," said Geib, who is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of his Lanier Harbor Marina Poker Run.com event this August.
Although not a race competition, Geib’s Poker Run will feature Doc Santiago, along with high performance boats of all lengths and speeds as well as cruisers, and pontoon entries. The event also boasts prize opportunities in excess of $350,000.00 this year. "We invite all the Florida boaters to come visit our Lake Lanier waterways and have a great time raising money for our kids here, as well."
Working with the Ft. Myers Beach Offshore Grand Prix & Air Show, and Big Brothers – Big Sisters is especially rewarding for Santiago. He began giving his Ride of a Lifetime over four years ago with Big Brothers – Big Sisters, and now joins in the Child SMILE America Tour in the same place he has raced for a number of years.
"I carry a soft spot in my heart for the kids from Ft. Myers and am excited to be able to bring my boat back to give them the rides this year. We always have fun on the water and they love driving my boat!" said the Doctor, from Naples, who will have fellow dentist, teammate and throttleman, Dr. Enrique Ochoa, at his side.
"We are very fortunate to have the generosity of Barkley Geib, Dr. Santiago, and our sponsors; Poker Runs America Magazine, Competitive EDGE Marine, The Aqua Toy Store and the Offshore Racing Review as the foundation for our Tour. We hope that more companies will join us in our pledge to make the world a better tomorrow for our kids, starting today," said Michelle May – Schmidt, founder of the Tour.
Fans can visit the Bridge Restaurant to meet Dr. Santiago and view the Zero Cavity Raceboat up close on the docks at the Bridge Restaurant, 708 Fisherman’s Wharf, on Friday from 3:00pm on. Santiago will be providing Media Rides at 3:00pm with the highlight rides for the kids from Big Brothers – Big Sisters at 4:00pm. Autographs are available and cameras are always welcome.
The Ft. Myers Beach Offshore Grand Prix & Air Show celebrates its 9th Anniversary this year. While the Wet Pits will be hosted at the Bridge Restaurant, the Racer Dry Pits are located at Gulf Waters RV Resort, 17500 Pine Ridge Road in Ft. Myers, and a Friday Night Party in the Pits will be held from 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
The Party will feature live bands, a food court, as well as race team and raceboat displays. Powerboat Racing Action will be held both Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm off Ft. Myers Beach and spectator viewing is free. All Racing Schedules and Information are located on www.offshoregrandprix.com .and proceeds go to benefit a number of Children’s Charities in the area.
For more information on the Big Brothers – Big Sisters of Southwest Florida, which includes Lee, Collier, Glades and Henry Counties, contact Rachel Witt at 239-278-0003. For all information on the Child SMILE America Tour, Dr. Santiago’s Zero Cavity Racing Team, and Barkley Geib’s PokerRun.com event as well as highlights from the events, poker runs and races the Tour will attend this year, please visit www.RacingReviewOnline.com.
 
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:51 PM
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Like always all OSO members and friends are welcome to join me Friday May 16 at the Bridge Restaurant at 3:00PM to do the Boat ride for Big Brother/Big Sister organization.
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Old 05-15-2003, 06:12 PM
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Looks like fun!

We are crossing the state on Saturday. We will be around for the race on Sunday. Maybe you can meet us (or we can run into you) sometime over the weekend...

Hope to see you soon!

Jackie
 
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