2015 Wheelchair salmon derby is in the books

For the past three weeks over 300 disabled veterans from all around the state sought salmon in the waters off the Central Coast in the 28th annual Monterey Bay Veterans – Wheelchair Salmon Derby.  Thanks to many local captains and support from the Coastside Fishing Club the search for this year’s winning fish covered fishing grounds from Monterey all the way to Half Moon Bay

The derby culminated with Derby Week End.  Festivities began Friday night with a welcoming dinner hosted by the Marina American Legion, followed by Saturday’s main event with hundreds of hopeful  veterans, along with Miss California Rodeo, Jynel Gularte, boarding three party boats and dozens of private vessels to brave the less than ideal conditions for their shot at the title. Saturday’s awards banquet at the Seaside American Legion Hall marked the finale of Monterey Bay Veterans’ 2015 wheelchair salmon derby.  In the end James De la Pena of Hollister took the top prize with a cleaned fish weight of 17  pounds 9 ounces.

There are just too many people and organizations to thank in this small space, but all should know that Monterey Bay Veterans cherishes our sponsors and volunteers and we extend our sincere thanks for your support in helping make this event an annual success story.  We must give special recognition to The Department of California, D.A.V., whose sponsorship makes our annual derbies possible.

Still time to enroll in Spring SCUBA training

There is still time to enroll in the Freedom Dive program Spring Session.  Details are below and the necessary forms can be located in the Freedom Dive Program portion of this web site.

You simply need to inform  us at: wcreisig@comcast.net or call 831-423-7728 to let us know of your intentions.  You will need to bring hard copies of the three forms with you with the student record and liability release filled out.  The medical release doesn’t need completion until the ocean dive portion of the class.

Freedom Dive Program

A collaborative offering of Monterey Bay Veterans and Degnan Divers

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 due to disability.

Target Population:

  1. Veterans with special needs of any type including physical, emotional or cognitive.
  2. Family members or care givers interested in SCUBA in order to assist in the veteran’s success.

Objectives:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Schedule:

  1. The seven week training will be one day a week (Sunday) for four to five hours.
  2. The next class is scheduled to begin March 29, 2015 from 8:00 to 12:00 at the California State Unitversity, Monterey Bay Aquatic Center
  3. Bring hard copy of the liability release, student record and medical release found in the Freedom Dive Program section of this web site.  Bring a swimsuit and towel and these forms even if not completed.

Questions may be directed to Bill Reisig at 831-423-7728 or Frank Degnan at 831-277-1705.

 

29th Annual Wheelchair Salmon Derby

Monterey Bay Veterans is pleased to announce the 29th annual wheelchair salmon derby.  The derby will be held on Saturday April 25th, 2015.   Vessels will depart from Monterey harbor.

The event will kick off Friday evening with the traditional welcome banquet and will conclude with the awards banquet on Saturday afternoon after the derby.

Registration forms for fishermen and volunteers are located in this site’s programs section for salmon derby.  Those with scheduling issues may fish during the month of April prior to derby day.  Contact event coordinator, John Whitacre, for more information. 831-901-0217.

“Independence” Open House on December 7

The public is invited on board the Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV) vessel “Independence”, on Sunday December 7, from noon to 4:00 pm.  This 49 foot DeFevre  is a beautiful boat, which incorporates many modifications and additions to accommodate special needs.  Come aboard, enjoy the harbor views, have  some refreshments,  take a tour and learn more about this boat, and the other MBV boats and programs.

Entrance is at the Tier “A” gate on Monterey harbor’s wharf 2, (the commercial wharf).  The gate is on the left just past the Sandbar restaurant.

 

Two from MBV board named as 2014 Veterans of the Year

Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV) is proud to announce that two long time volunteers and current members of the MBV Executive Board  have been named Veterans of the Year by the Monterey County Military and Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission.

Anthony Russo and Tom Palz received their recognition November 1, at the 23rd Annual Veteran of the Year Awards Banquet at the Salinas Elks Lodge.   We are truly fortunate to have Anthony and Tom in our ranks and congratulate them on this well deserved recognition.

Anthony and Tom join seven previous Monterey Bay Veterans Officers and Directors who received this honor in previous years.

Monterey Bay Veterans launches volunteer drive

Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV) is an all volunteer organization.  This allows us to invest 88% of every dollar earned or donated into programs directly benefiting our disabled veterans and wounded troops.

What is the profile of the perfect MBV volunteer.  That is easy to answer.  He or she is young or old, a veteran or never served, a skilled professional or learning on the job, serves a few hours a day or a few hours a year.  In other words…… YOU.

We are expanding in both number of veterans served and our program offerings. This requires that we grow our volunteer resources to meet those needs.  If you enjoy marine, or other outdoor activities, we invite you to visit the “programs” section on this web site to see what we are all about, then go to the “join us” section to see how you can be a part of something very special and have a great time in the process.  We need people from all skill levels to build our ranks and at this moment have a special need for someone with program and/or project management experience.  Join us and and help to serve those who served and sacrificed for us all.

 

Success for the 24th annual MBV cod derby

The Central Coast provided October warmth, calm seas, light winds and  very cooperative fish, making for another incredible fishing derby for our disabled veterans and wounded troops.

The annual event began with the traditional welcome dinner Friday night sponsored by the Marina American Legion.  Optimistic fishermen/ladies  then gathered early Saturday morning on the Coast Guard landing and piled aboard the sportfishing fleet for the outing on the Bay.   Broad smiles were the order of the day as the fisherman came ashore early with limits all around.  Participants and volunteers then gathered at the Seaside American Legion for the closing banquet and plenty of fish stories.

The annual salmon derby and rock cod derby are sponsored by the Department of California, Disabled American Veterans (DAV).   Monterey Bay Veterans thanks the DAV, our American Legion partners and the many volunteers that make these events possible.

Amazon Smile

There is now an easy way for you to donate in support Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV).  MBV  provides therapy services and open access for our disabled veterans, wounded troops and the ADA community in general at no charge.

If you shop Amazon.com, simply sign up for Amazon smile on line and select Monterey Bay Veterans as your donation target.  Every time you shop Amazon 0.5% of your purchase price will be donated back to help fund MBV services.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Event filled August for MBV

Monterey Bay Veterans (MBV) has just completed a very busy month.  Events in August included participation in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Convention in Las Vegas, two weeks of providing Physically Challenged Access (PC Access)  at Laguna Seca Raceway, with an overlap week of service at Pebble Beach for the Concours d’ Elegance.  The month was topped off with a successful sea trial of the Lift to Freedom (L2F), a key component of  MBVs dive boat Freedom.  Read more  about the PC Access and Dive Programs under programs tag of this site and look for formal announcements on Freedom in the coming months.

It takes immense resources, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of man hours to provide these services to our disabled veterans, wounded troops and the physically challenged community in general.  If you would like to make a lasting impact on our veterans and community, consider donating  and/or volunteering with the Monterey Bay Veterans.

 

 

Lift to Freedom milestone

The Monterey Bay Veterans’ (MBV)60 foot boat, Freedom, successfully ran sea trials for the Lift to Freedom (L2F) on August 17th, 2014.

L2F is Freedom’s custom designed  submersible dive platform which allows for simultaneous, safe  launch and retrieval of multiple physically challenged divers, including those wheelchair bound.

Freedom boasts many unique features fitting her mission.   However, the L2F system designed by renowned marine engineer and diver Chris Delucchi and fabricated by Sierra Designs is the crown jewel of of this special vessel.

Look for additional information on the formal launch of Freedom in the coming months and learn about this program for our disabled veterans and wounded troops in the programs section of this site.