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Donate to boating-related charities this season

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It's that time again! If you traditionally play Santa Claus to charities, consider giving generously to any of the non-profit organizations listed below (and others) that support boating education, conservation and other maritime-related activities. If you have more time than money to give, become a volunteer. The hours you contribute not only go a long way in helping the others but can be rewarding in lots of ways.

Inter-Lake Yachting Association
Donate to the Inter-Lake Yachtsman Fund and help kids learn about sailing and power boating and even earn scholarships.
http://i-lya.org/pages/yachtsmens-fund.php

Support Spirit of America programs that teach kids about boating and water safety:
The Lake County program partners with Lake Metroparks, operating out of Fairport Harbor.
http://www.spiritofamerica95.org/

Help outfit The Cleveland Sight Center’s sailboats:
The Center’s Active Lifestyles Sailing Program teaches blind and sight impaired individuals to sail. The program has two 27’ Pearson sailboats that can always use gear and maintenance.
http://www.news-herald.com/20130825/some-find-freedom-on-open-water-with-video
http://www.clevelandsightcenter.org/active-lifestyles.aspx

Note “Active Lifestyles Sailing Program” on your check and mail to:

Cleveland Sight Center
909 East 101st Street
PO Box 1988
Cleveland, OH 44106-8696
For information, call 216-791-8118

Show Your Love for Lake Erie:
Ohio State University Stone Lab carries out marine biology research to learn more about Lake Erie ecosystems and water quality. To learn more about OSU's related public outreach, education and conservation programs go to:
http://stonelab.osu.edu/fosl/give/

Support Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse
The Fairport Lighthouse museum is a regional tourist attraction and treasure trove of cool nautical stuff. In addition to monetary gifts, volunteers are always needed to put in a few hours at the reception desk, pitch in with special events and lighthouse maintenance.
http://www.ncweb.com/org/fhlh/

Help Fund Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse Renovations
The Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Light was built in 1925 and sits in Fairport Harbor, Ohio at the mouth of the Grand River. It was constructed to replace the original Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, which now serves as a marine museum. The Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse, like many U.S. lighthouses was placed into auction in 2009 and the winning bidder was Sheila Consaul. She has conducted public and private tours, and is updating the building in accordance with the National Lighthouse Restoration Act (2000).
http://www.fairportharborwestlighthouse.com/

Join The Great Lakes Historical Society
The National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio will open in Spring 2014 featuring many historical exhibits, a Maritime Park and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship The Inland Seas Maritime Museum in Vermilion, Ohio is permanently closed as GLHS prepares to open the new National Museum.
http://www.inlandseas.org/membership/
http://www.inlandseas.org/

Share your love of reading with Caribbean kids:
You can give the gift of books by donating to Hands Across the Sea:
http://www.handsacrossthesea.net/

Got a boat to donate? Here's how:
There are options you may never have considered before. This article talks about the ways you can donate, as well as tax deduction issues. Be sure to research the organization carefully before you sign over your boat.
http://www.wikihow.com/Donate-a-Boat-to-Charity

Donate your worn out, shredded sails to a good cause:
These folks create cool bags and more with Kevlar and Dacron sails.http://boathousebags.com/?page_id=423

Help the BoatUS Foundation help others:
Programs include: free online boating safety course, life jacket loaners for kids, monofilament fishing line recycling, advanced boating courses, low-cost EPIRB and PLB rentals, and education resources on many topics related to clean and safe boating.
http://www.boatus.com/foundation/

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