Posted on May 30, 2021 in Krewe News
A Year in Review – 2020-21
This past year tattooed upon our hearts and minds the unthinkable and the unforgettable. We were forced to face daily struggles, gripping fear, paralyzing grief and yet we still hung on. We found ways to celebrate what was once considered “the normal” with new eyes. We opened our hearts to embrace each other, lend that helping hand so desperately needed by those trying to survive in a world filled with uncertainties. It has been a year of difficulties and unprecedented times and yet our Krewe held fast. Hard as it has been, we survived and along the way we were able to provide the needed help and support to our community and amputees.
Our Krewe was stricken with heartbreak this year losing two Pirates, Mama Fran Reiter, and Lisa Esposito. Both had been with our Krewe for years and the void left from losing them affected many of us. They supported our Krewe and our Kause unselfishly and will always be remembered as having a heart of gold to those fortunate to have known them.
Although the year was different, our Krewe managed to find a variety of ways to help those in need during the year.
There is always a need for financial assistance to provide prosthesis and we met that need by giving $15,000.00 in funds for 3 individuals. Although we were not able to present the check directly to the recipients and the clinics this year, the result was the same; we helped change lives.
Through the years we have worked closely with Shriner’s Hospital for Children and this year was no exception. We provided 2 custom trikes to amputee children to help facilitate therapy and enhance the simple joy of just being a child. Because of the restrictions due to COVID the staff at Shriner’s made the presentations for us.
This spring we awarded a total of $16,000.00 in scholarships to 11 young adults continuing their education either in college or vocational school. It is awesome to know we can help lighten the financial burden of school debts and make their journey a little easier.
The Annual Clay Shoot Fundraiser was the shining star of our year! To date, it was the largest participation of shooters and the most funds raised at our shoot. Once all expensive were paid, we raised $44,000.00, 100% of which went into our charity fund. Thank you to all that worked to make this shoot a huge success! Without a successful shoot we would not be able to do what we do. Thank you for the generosity of those that gave and continue to support our Kause year after year.
Who loves PDQ? We do! We sold 1,000 PDQ cards, making $1,000. People ate out, COVID or not! It’s an easy and fast money maker for us and we’ll be getting more as soon as PDQ gives them out again.
We were able to host 2 Bingo events the past 2 months. After paying the lucky 50/50 winners, we still brought in $2,400. It was a great way to close out our Krewe year!
Additionally, the year was scattered with more events, a few changes, and a huge undertaking. Events and fun included The IKC Carnival, Feeding Tampa Bay, Pirate Taxi excursion, our Annual Christmas Party and Bling Fling Trading event. Booty offered 3 booty pins and a first time “trading” coin. A conference line was opened to accommodate those unable to attend face to face meetings and will remain in place for the upcoming year. And then there was the float! What a huge undertaking and what an outstanding outcome. Our ship received a much-needed update, both structurally and aesthetically. Thank you to those that so worked hard to make this happen and get her ready to set sail.
Finally, with the lifting of restrictions, parades stepped off once again ending our year with the Bradenton, Pride and Hometown Heroes Parades. Let’s all toast with a bottle of rum and a hearty “Aarrgh”!
We have maneuvered through the limitations and restrictions that come along with a worldwide pandemic. The Board had a challenging task this year, not wanting to promote unsafe situations but also to provide outlets to stay connected with our Krewe family. We made decisions based on what we thought was the safest and best solutions for us all. Thank you for your understanding, support, and commitment to our Krewe.
May we all look toward a new year of sunny skies, fair winds, and smooth sailing.