Tag Archives: Freedom Waters Foundation

Freedom Waters Foundation Event

The Company Store:
White and Black Market, Chico’s & Soma
You’ve been wondering how to get in …
Now is your chance!
Chico’s welcome’s Freedom Waters Foundation to a shopping spree, at
The Company Store
March 9, 2012
 4:00—5:30 pm
Tickets: $35.00 each
Hurry, tickets are limited.
Accessories (earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, scarves, belts, shoes, purses) – $6, tops, bottoms, and lingerie – $6, dresses and jackets- $11, gowns, suede, leather or specialty items – $21.  All prices include Florida State sales tax. 10% of purchases donated back to FWF.  More details to come with reservation.
Submit reservation and payment:
Freedom Waters Foundation
The Company Store with FWF
895 10th St. S, #302-D,
Naples, FL 34102

Woman in a Tiara

Last Saturday evening an unusual event happened…. John and Iwent out alone.  It was a little disconcerting as this has only happened a handful of times since Riley’s birth.  It only happens with considerable planning.  Saturday, however, was an important occasion; Debby Frenkel, Executive Director of Freedom Waters Foundation (FWF), was celebrating a birthday.
The boys each had plans. Riley spent his evening with Debbie, PICs respite nurse, and Ronan had dinner and movie plans with his grandmother, aka Kappi.  This left us free to drive away… after 6 pm in the evening.  As John observed, we were driving after dark!  Parents of only typically developing children lament the few moments they get alone together and make great fuss over date nights, yet somehow they seem to happen at a fair rate of regularity – at least from my perspective.  Special Needs Parents must go to extraordinary lengths for the same moments. During this extremely rare event it is still difficult to not be wondering each moment what could and is likely going wrong at home.  The evening never lasts long.
John and I need more of these evenings: for our relationship, our own health and well-being.  It also would not hurt to spoil ourselves on a rare occasion. Driving south on Tamiami toward Naples, I noticed the local Persian restaurant I wanted so much to try.  “One of these days we are going to eat there,” I swore out loud.  The matter-of-fact answer back, “We tried, remember.  They don’t have take-out.”  No take-out clearly precluded us from having anything to do with any establishment.  As disturbing as that answer was, it was also true.  No Persian food for us.  That did not stop me from rolling my eyes at John and repeating this crazy answer several times throughout the evening as if I lived in some other reality and the only thing stopping me from eating where I wanted was John’s reluctance to sit down in a restaurant for an evening.
All the same, I am glad we went out that evening.  I will cherish the vision of Debby in hertiara and even better John drumming along with the Cuban drummers.  That happened when I was without camera in hand unfortunately.  Without the crazy woman in a tiara, our lives would be just a little less.


A brief conversation with Kate, an FWF volunteer, brought me back to my reality when I was asked where the boys were.  Actually, I am almost surprised to be recognized without them by my side and in my arms.  I explained how fortunate we were to have a respite nurse that evening, sharing that we now receive 150 hours a year of respite.  This has been one of the greatest gifts of our life.  The response was unexpected, “Is that all!  In Alaska, Special Needs Parents got at least one weekend a month!”
One weekend a month?
One weekend a month!
This got me thinking.  Every state, every county in fact has different services.  Different budgets.  Each state is constantly reevaluating those budgets and taking from one fund to boost another.  Services change, times change, budgets change and attitudes change.  even when services exist they can be quite challenging.  Do residents even know they exist?  Is the age range wrong, the diagnosis, the family income?  Perhaps the family has no energy left to pursue anything at all.  Now, this is a scenario John and I understand all too well.
Going forward with this blog, I would like to explore the current situation of each state.  Not an in depth exploration as I do not have the access to such information.  I would however, over time, like to find some of the perceptions with the status of special needs services and lives throughout the country.  This should also be approached with the understanding that there will be as many different experiences in any given area as there are special needs families.
As I mentioned earlier, it is possible for many useful events to be happening.  Knowing about it is yet another.  My previous post is an alert to the FDLRS Open Lab Night.  I learned about it at last Friday’s Parents as Mentors, a group of Lee County Schools ESE parents.  The flier was shared widely be a Lee County Schools employee.  Yet, I passed it along to Riley’s teacher at Rayma anyway. She knew nothing about the event, nor did the school Principal.  She thanked me profusely for bringing it to her attention and they sent it home with every student in the school.  Now, why is it so difficult to disseminate information?  Really, I would like to know why this happens.  The school was so happy to know about it, how is it that they are in the same school system with no notice of a useful event whatsoever?
Would any of my wonderful readers like to contribute their own experience to this series I propose?   For the moment, I shall call it The State of Special Needs.   You are each certainly welcome to weigh in and I hope you do.  Anyone care to wear the tiara for a day and share?
We are all special… Stacie Wiesenbaugh

this in that

SWFL Ladies – it is time to make your reservations.
My next fundraiser will be for Freedom Waters Foundation.
Please see the flier HERE.
President Obama Appoints New Members to Committee for People With Intellectual Disabilities – CEC Policy Insider  Last week, the Obama Administration announced several key new appointments, including the appointment of Peter Bell and Jack Brandt as members of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The committee is made up of 21 citizen members and 13 federal employees who are tasked…
Please vote again today for me… The Ugliest Blog Contest.
I am currently behind 57 to 62.
The Librum of Time is working pretty hard for this one.
Help me make her work a little harder.
Meet Wichita of Wildlife Waystation…  Thank goodness for the Waystation that misplaced animals may still have a home and thrive while educating us all.

FWF Creates a Promo!

Debbie, our PIC Respite Caregiver, and I gathered up the boys and headed down to Naples Boat Club last Saturday.  Our other Debby, Freedom Waters Foundation Executive Director, had video interviews planned down by the boats.  We got to hang out on Lady Serenity while we waited our turn.

Debby Frenkel (FWF), Riley and Sheryl Soukup (NEC). Photo by Jim Meyersburg.

The interview and camera was handled by the adorable Paul Gessler, a Reporter for ABC7 & NBC2.

Paul aboard Lady Serenity.  Photo by Jim Meyersburg.

I certainly stumbled over my words… but at least I had my two handsome sons beside me.  I cannot wait to see how it comes out!

We are all Special… by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

FWF Fundraiser


The Company Store:
White and Black Market, Chico’s & Soma
You’ve been wondering how to get in …
Now is your chance!
Chico’s welcome’s Freedom Waters Foundationto a shopping spree, at
The Company Store
March 9, 2012
4:00—5:30 pm
Tickets: $35.00 each
Hurry, tickets are limited.
Accessories (earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, scarves, belts, shoes, purses) – $6, tops, bottoms, and lingerie – $6, dresses and jackets- $11, gowns, suede, leather or specialty items – $21.  All prices include Florida State sales tax. 10% of purchases donated back to FWF.  More details to come with reservation.  
Submit reservation and payment:
Freedom Waters Foundation
The Company Store with FWF
895 10th St. S, #302-D,
Naples, FL 34102

Little Brother Turns 7!

We celebrated Ronan’s 7th birthday this past weekend.  We threw a joint party along with our his classmate, our friends’ and neighbors.  It was a wonderful event.  For Riley it was a long one as he had to spend much more time than we would have liked in the wheelchair; he did however appreciate all the energy around him.

Taking the time to celebrate, reminds us of the importance of our family and feeding our souls.
It was a Happy Birthday!  Stacie

Freedom Waters Foundation Harnesses the Power of the Sea by Stephen Brown

Freedom Waters at the Stone Crab Festival

Come one – Come All!  Freedom Waters at the Stone Crab Festival – This Weekend!!! Oct. 28-30, FridaySunday – all day –  Tin City 

Incredible Raffle Items – Private Yacht Cruises, Fishing Package, Hotel Stays, Restaurants Galore and More!
Kids Activities – Bounce House, Face painting, Fun!
Live Music from Pinchers Stage!
For more information about the event, link to – http://www.stonecrabfestival.org/
Rain or Shine – We will be there! Hope you will too!
Thank you!
Debby and all the Freedom Waters Foundation Friends
Debra Frenkel, LCSW
Executive Director/Founder



Freedom Waters Foundation 
895 10th Street South, Suite 302-D
Naples, Florida 34102 – Main office

Return to Florida: Donna Lee

I would like to begin with a new years blessing.

It is going to be a Fantastic year, I can feel it!  As was this summer.

As you all know, my brother received my bone marrow, and as of today, his latest biopsy shows 91% of it being his own. Thank you God. The month of September I spent with my 14 month-old grandson, helping him to adjust to daycare and spending as much time as possible bonding with him. He rode his first choo choo train with “safta” (grandma in Hebrew). I was very privileged to have had that time with him.

Presently I am back in Naples, Florida and my first visit, after mom, was to Riley and his family. Riley had a tough summer, involving seizures and coughs, increasing his muscle tone, tightening them, as well as his tendons and ligaments. After not seeing him for 4 months, I noticed how much he has grown, especially taller. He seemed to have enjoyed the massage, because, as I pointed out in a previous blog, he vocalizes and sings to me.

I started out wishing us all a wonderful new year, or Shana Tova (Hebrew), filled with good health, happiness and productivity. This week I will resume my volunteer work at Naple’s Equestrian Challenge, become a more active participant in Freedom Waters Foundation organization, continue dancing with my buddies from the Federation For Developmentally Disabled, at Fred’s Diner, every Tuesday evening, and of course, visit Riley on a weekly basis. Being part of these activities, gives me the energy of life and fills my soul with true abundance. Thank you God.

Donna Lee
Nameste v’Shalom

New digital Parenting Specialneeds Magazine is out today.

Shared by Debby Frenkel:

FWF Made the News in Naples tonight!  Thank you to Paul Gessler who did a great job on the story at ABC!
Enjoy and please forward and share with all your friends —-

Here’s the link to the storyhttp://www.abc-7.com/global/story.asp?s=15637085

Here’s to what we do!  Thank you all who Make it Happen!

Today’s discovery for my international readers: European Disability Forum

Forget Me Not Fridays

Sharing Freedom Through Boating for Special Children

September 29, 2010


“Special needs basically means the Loss of Freedom: Loss of the senses… smell, taste, hearing, feel/touch, sight. Freedom Waters Foundation gives our blind, deaf, and paralyzed child his senses back,” wrote John Buck, Father of Riley Buck, age 8. “The smell and taste of the salt water air; the vibration (hearing) of the motor or gentle rocking of the waves; the touch of the sun and wind in his hair. As for sight, the organization gives us something to look forward to every time we participate. For a moment in time, our son/family, are “normal” and a part of something very special.”

(Photo above, John and son, Riley Buck, Age 8 )

Zach, 7, who is on the most part non-verbal, sometimes has a hard time adjusting to new places or situations and although he has been boating before with FWF, his last trip was on a different boat, from a different marina and he approached with great trepidation and many tears. With a great deal of affection, comfort and support, Zach slowly adjusted to his new surroundings and we left the dock. Soon there after, he wanted and did explore the vessel, helped at the helm, and he was smiling with the joy of his boating experience.

By the time the boat returned to the dock, Zach was so relaxed that he nearly fell asleep.

“Freedom Waters Foundation allows children, whose lives are full of therapy and work to be free. The water allows them to just be a kid for a day, not a kid with special needs ormultiple problems. Just a kid, who can set sail and relax in the sun. To see them laugh and feel the wind on their faces is such a wonderful sight. As a mom I take great joy in seeing my son sail on the open sea! His joy brings me joy and for that I am thankful!” stated Rebekah Aldridge, Zach’s Mom. She even wrote a little poem:

Water is so much fun,
then you add a little sun,
A little sail and special friends,
and the fun just never ends!

(Photo Above – Zachary Aldridge, 7 and Volunteer, Donn Schulte)

Today’s discovery:

Christmas Cards from About the Small Stuff

Christmas cards featuring disabled children: Janet Harrold of Painting for Hailey

Whole Foods Market Wine Tasting & Live Music

Friday, August 5th 2011
1st Friday’s Wine Tasting & Live Music

6-8 pm $10 donation

Join us this month in the Café and Lifestyle Center as we celebrate the Mercato Wine & Concert Series the first Friday of every month. This month we’re featuring over 25 wines from around the world with cheese sampling. This month’s theme is VALUE so all wines featured will be on sale at various levels. Enjoy light snacks from our Health Starts Here Specialist, Julie, as well. Proceeds will benefit Freedom Waters Foundation, providing boating and marine activities for people with disabilities, life threatening illnesses and youth at risk. Payment is accepted online or in the Café upon arrival. www.acteva.com/go/LifestyleCenter

Powered by WordPress | Rileys Smile