The 28th Annual Rock Cod Wheelchair Derby pre-registration and dinner is Friday October 26th, 2018 5pm-7pm.
Saturday October 27th, 2018 at 6:00AM check in will begin. Boat boarding passed for those who still need them will be handed out (coffee and donuts too!) Boats will load at 6:30am.
Saturday October 27th, 2018 the dinner will begin at 2pm-4pm, with the ceremony at 3pm.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS: Be sure to complete and return your registration form by the deadline, October 18, 2018 for all registered participants who were unable to get their boat boarding passes on Friday, they will be issued again on Saturday beginning promptly at 6:00 AM. Don’t miss the boat!!! Be there early!! And be ready for any kind of weather. We will provide a Dinner on Friday, continental breakfast, lunch on the boat and banquet on Saturday. All fishing tackle and bait will be provided. If you are inclined to seasickness (or don’t know if you are), take seasick pills at least two hours before you board your boat for the day. (We cannot dispense pills) There’s no turning back so if you have any other additional special needs, bring it with you. If you need any additional information, feel free to contact us! Good fishing!
For more information visit the Rock Cod Derby Page.
The Monterey Bay Veterans, Inc has been awarded a $4,500.00 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to was made by Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to improve the lives of United States military personnel , veterans, and their families.
The grant will be used to support the Freedom Dive Program. Click here to learn more about the Freedom Dive Program.
During the month of September Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV) provided the ADA requirement at four major area venues, including Laguna Seca, the Monterey County Fair, Monterey Jazz Festival and the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. We then kicked off October with the Annual Cod Derby with hundreds of participants from all over the state.
MBV concluded this very busy September with the unveiling of the one of a kind dive boat Freedom, featuring the Lift 2 Freedom submersible dive platform. On September 27th we celebrated the dedication of MBV vessel Freedom into service. This boat is the crown jewel of the Freedom Dive Program, a collaborative project of MBV, Degnan Divers, Presidio of Monterey Outdoor Recreation and Breakwater SCUBA. The unveiling followed two ocean dives aboard Freedom by Dave Riley, National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Dave, who inspired the Freedom program, is a Coast Guard veteran and quad amputee. The official announcement took place at a dedication ceremony attended by local and national dignitaries including representatives from DAV at State and National levels, state and local government officials, local military commands, the Veterans Administration and other Veteran Service Organizations.
MBV wishes to thank all of our great volunteers, without whom it would be impossible for MBV to deliver on all its commitments of service to our disabled veterans. In addition to the “normal” cycle of Physically Challenged access and the many fishing opportunities, dozens of volunteers put in thousands of hours repairing, refurbishing and modifying Freedom to prepare her for a new life. We also want to thank the many donors whose products and services helped bring the Freedom dream to reality.
Freedom was officially put into service with this prayer:
“Almighty God we gather here today to dedicate this vessel to a new life of service to our Veterans, who have served and sacrificed to ensure for us the gift for which she is named,……. “Freedom”. We ask for your blessing on “Freedom”, those who prepared her for service and all who will serve aboard her, that she may always be a source of healing and happiness. Amen”
Monterey Bay Veterans and Degnan’s Divers have collaborated to create the Freedom Dive Program for challenged divers. We believe it to be the most comprehensive program of its type in the world. We are now waiting for you to literally take the plunge and fulfill your dreams of underwater adventure.
Some of the divers in Frank Degnan’s classes, and many challenged recreational divers, for whom diving from shore or utilizing standard dive boat operations would be difficult or impossible, have been in need of a method to safely and comfortably dive.
Monterey Bay Veterans has been working on the solution. The Dive Boat Freedom has completed its refurbishment, repairs and customization. It is now ready to assist student and certified challenged divers to participate in some of the best diving in the world. The key component, the Lift to Freedom submersible dive platform, allows safe and comfortable deployment and retrieval of divers regardless of their disability challenge.
We invite you to read more under the programs tab of this site and view the video describing the entire Freedom program and the dive boat Freedom here:
Hey golf fans. There is still time to register as a volunteer for the spectacular A.T.T. ProAm at Pebble Beach. Simply go to the A.T.T. ProAm site, find the volunteer page and register. We particularly need volunteers for spectator transportation. Monterey Bay Veterans is a key provider of both Special needs and Spectator Transportation services. For every hour volunteered Monterey Bay Veterans receives funding to help support our disabled veteran service programs. So, go on line now and register. you will have a wonderful time and support a great cause.
The spring SCUBA training class is set to begin On April 10, 2016 at the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Aquatic Center. These classes are presented through a collaboration of Degnan Divers and Monterey Bay Veterans, with support from other governmental and non-governmental service organizations.
Mission: To provide access to specialized dive instruction and recreational ocean diving for all veterans and military, who would be uncomfortable with, or have a low probability of success, in a traditional diving class.
- Veterans with special needs of any type including physical, emotional or cognitive.
- Family members or care givers interested in SCUBA in order to assist in the veteran’s success.
- Provide SCUBA training and certification at little or no cost to the veterans beyond their travel and accommodations. This is accomplished by utilizing services, facilities and other physical assets provided by Monterey Bay Veterans and Degnan Divers.
- Provide a safe and accommodating learning and activities environment for the special needs dive student.
- The academic content of the course will be covered in traditional lecture/discussion, online or a combination of both.
- The pool environment at CSUMB emphasizes one on one instruction and provides the students with the ability to learn at their own pace.
- On the water safety and comfort is provided in Monterey Bay by using MBV’s specially modified 60 foot dive boat, the “Freedom”. Visit MBV.org to learn more about this one of a kind dive vessel and the Lift to Freedom (L2F) submersible dive platform.
- The opportunity is available to participate in regularly scheduled “pool only” SCUBA activities for those not interested in certification or ocean diving.
- The seven week training will be one day a week (Sunday) for four to five hours.
- The next class is scheduled to begin April 10, 2016
- The classroom and pool training begins at 8:00 am at the California State University Aquatic Center. Ocean dives will be scheduled for the final three Sundays, conditions permitting.
Application and registration:
- Applications and other required forms may be found at the web site: MBV.org under Freedom Dive Program. This documentation can also be received in hard copy by calling Bill Reisig at 831-423-7728. Completed forms may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
Questions may be directed to Bill Reisig at 831-423-7728 or Frank Degnan at 831-277-1705.
Greetings all and Happy New Year. 2015 turned out to be a year of challenges and great accomplishments.
Our mission expanded in both numbers served and programs offered in 2015. MBV served thousands of veterans through the fishing programs, SCUBA training, Northern tour and growing Physically Challenged Access program. In addition to the above, dedicated volunteers addressed and completed over one hundred projects on the custom dive boat “Freedom”, with it’s one of a kind Lift to Freedom “L2F” dive platform, bringing this one of a kind project to operational status. These very successes created challenges in organization and resources.
Milestones were also established with the expansion of our partnerships and cooperative efforts with other organizations dedicated to serving those to whom we owe so much.
None of this would be possible without our dedicated corps of volunteers, members, donors and sponsors. Thanks to you all and to the officers and 2015 board of directors for your dedication, leadership and contributions.
We experienced both joy and loss in 2015. The first with the marriage of our favorite Army Airborne Veteran Jeanne Paynter, nee Obrien, to now husband Chris on board the Independence to start the New Year, and the latter with the loss of longtime volunteer, Board member and “Independence” Boat Director Tom Paltz. We said good bye to Tom with full military honors and spreading of his ashes from the deck of the Independence onto the Monterey Bay; the place where he was most happy. He is missed.
2016 is promising even more. I am happy to announce the 2016 Board of Directors and several new Operational Director positions.
Introducing the 2016 Board of Directors: Bill Reisig, C.J. Von Drehle, Pat McCoy, Kimberly Stuhler, Anthony Russo, James Bogan, and two new Directors for 2016 Jeanne Paynter, John Knight
In addition to the existing Operational Directors; John Whitacre (Executive Director), Kirk Johnson (Veterans Relations), Diane Whitacre (Membership), Bill Reisig (Freedom Boat Director and Freedom Dive Program) and Gary Crawford (Volunteers), a couple of new key Operational Director positions are now filled:
Director, Northern California Operations: Michael Steinbaugh
Director, Information Systems: John Knight
This team will be leading Monterey Bay Veterans through an exciting 2016, which will include the rechristening and dedication of the vessel “Freedom”.
Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities (The A.T.T. Pro-Am is just around the corner). Plan early and make your travel and lodging arrangements for the Derbies and SCUBA classes.
In order to fulfill our objectives for the year we are counting on being able to expand our volunteer roles and filling several remaining Operational Director positions. If you have time to dedicate to the mission of service to our disabled veterans, especially if you have boating and/or project management experience, please contact us to discuss the opportunities available.
As always, all members and guests are welcome at our board meetings, which are held on the last Tuesday of each month at the Monterey Youth Center at 5:00 pm. We hope to see you there.
Here’s to another banner year in 2016.
We at Monterey Bay Veterans, and especially the Freedom team, have truly been blessed by the level of support we receive from the business community.
The Freedom dive boat project, conceived and constructed to provide SCUBA diving accommodation and safety to our disabled veteran community would not have been possible without the generosity of the business community.
The three most recent contributors are Monterey Bay Marine, Pernsteiner & Sons Fabrication and Process Stainless Lab.
Thank you Dave Babica of Monterey Bay Marine for your help in acquiring affordable outboard solutions for our dive safety boat aboard Freedom and utility and safety boat on Independence.
Another crucial system, to ensure safe anchoring operations, was provided by the combined effort of Perry Settlemoir at Pernsteiner & Sons for building the complex stainless reinforcement system for Freedom and David Diller and David Hays of Process Stainless Lab for plating/polishing services, which turned a crucial operations necessity into an aesthetic show piece.
It is truly inspiring to see the level of support and commitment the business community has for our disabled veterans. On behalf of Monterey Bay Veterans Executive Board, its membership, volunteers and especially the disabled veteran community. Thank you!!