Newly Formed Mariners Outreach Foundation Helps Catalina Island Youth
Mariners Outreach Foundation
Motivated to give back to the island they have enjoyed so much for many years, a group of Marina Del Rey boating enthusiasts have launched the Mariners Outreach Foundation, a charitable foundation whose primary mission is to provide Catalina Island’s elementary through high school students with field trips to educational and cultural venues available only on the mainland.
“Continuing cuts to education budgets mean that schools can no longer afford enrichment opportunities such as field trips without external funding”, said founding President Richard G. Somers. “This is especially true for Catalina Island’s schools because of the added transportation costs for travel to and from the mainland.”
The first students to benefit from a Mariners Outreach Foundation field trip this year were two 2nd grade classes and a group of special needs students from Avalon Elementary School. The children were taken to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for a special classroom program and tour after being transported to the mainland by boat. According to Ron Hasson, one of the foundation’s founders who hosted the trip, “The kids were excited to be there and grateful for the experience”.
Other Mariners Outreach Foundation fieldtrips scheduled this spring are to the Natural History Museum, Griffith Observatory and Museum of Tolerance, where all 53 seniors attending Avalon High School will spend a day learning about the perils of prejudice and racism.
“We’re pleased to be able to give something back to Catalina Island,” said Vice President Irv Weinhaus, “We hope that boating enthusiasts from various yacht and fishing clubs will join and further expand the Mariners Outreach Foundation’s ability to provide more educational and cultural opportunities for students from Catalina Island as well as other underserved communities.” For more information or to join the organization, email MARINERSFOUNDATION@gmail.com.