Heartwarming stories and news from Sailing Angels
AIG Awards $500 to Sailing Angels

Sailing Angels Foundation recently was a winner in the #GivingTuesday contest offered by American International Group (AIG), a multinational insurance company. AIG chose a photo of Sailing Angels to post on social media and will award $500 to our Foundation. Thank you to Debbie Hughes (AIG), Heidi Bane (Photographer & Graphic Artist) and Bruce Jansen (Graphic Artist), and thank you, AIG!
Sailin' Angels Songwriter Makes Hall of Fame
 
Congratulations to Shake Russell, a songwriter who was recently inducted
into the Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Te xas music community. The award was presented at the Texas Songwriter Associatio n /Austin Songwriters Gro up Annual Symposium.
 
Shake is the singer/songwriter of "Sailin' Angels," a beautiful song about Sailing Angels and the joy of serving others. This song is featured on his new CD. Come join us on Saturday, March 12th, at McGonigels's Mucky Duck for the Shake Russell/Michael Hearne CD Release Party. For tickets, go to
McGonigel's web site.
Upcoming Events

Feb. 14-18
ReelAbilities - Houston Film & Arts Festival
http://www.reelabilitieshouston.org
(tickets are free but you must register online)
 
Feb. 20
Sailing Angels Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon  (By invitation.  Contact: debbie@sailingangels.org) 
 
March 3
Family Resource Fair for Children with Disabilities - Conroe ISD
College Park High School, The Woodlands, TX   
 
March 5
1st Cruise for Williams Syndrome Families
 
March 12
Release of Shake Russell's CD including "Sailing Angels" Song
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 7 pm
 
April 23
1st Cruise for Down Syndrome (DSAH) Families
1st Cruise for Grace After Fire Women Veterans
 
May 14
Loving Hearts Special Needs Group
 
May 16
Presentation to the Texas Rehabilitation Association 
 
June 11
4th Sailing Angels Summer Sailstice Cruise
Special Needs Families Celebrating the Summer Solstice
Galveston Bay
 
July 3
First Annual Independence Day Boat Parade
Fundraiser for Sailing Angels
Grace After Fire

A Participant's Testimonial to the Sailing Angels Experience
 
"Sailing Angels,
     Wow, what can I say, it has been a pleasure and a fantastic opportunity to spend time out on the water with you and your team. Thank you for taking away the nuisance of stressful thoughts: like remembering to take your medication or have I paid this bill or that bill. Sailing is very relaxing and it offers therapy in a more rewarding way, because it offers ease of worry or stress. I have appreciated
Kanetrica "Nikki" Patton Lyons, right, with Antania Anderson  
the opportunity more because of your tireless efforts in the collaborative process with the Grace After Fire team and our Female Veteran's. Thank you for continuing to embrace and support the Veteran community the way you and the Sailing Angels team have done on so many occasions.
               
The experience is wonderful, knowing that we are able to create camaraderie with our peers. This is a time to develop friendships, laughter, connections; but most important to assure our peers that they are not in the storm alone. Transition can be hard, but when we know that we don't have to walk alone it makes the journey that much easier. When we set sail, all anxieties float away and our mind, body and spirit are at ease and peace while enjoying each other's company. This is possible because of the volunteers with Sailing Angels, who are present and inviting. There aren't enough words to express my gratitude, but I will state that I have been delighted spending my Saturdays sailing with the Sailing Angels." 
--  Kanetrica "Nikki" Patton Lyons
     Harris County Outreach Coordinator, U.S. Army, Grace After Fire
 
Note: Shortly after her sail with us, Nikki was deployed to Afghanistan for an 18- month tour. Our prayers are with her, and also with her family with 3 young children, who are in the Houston area.
 
 The women of Grace After Fire with Sailing Angels were featured by News CW39:  
 
Pictured, l-r, are Debbie Hughes, Monique Rodriguez and Capt. Dave
Monique Rodriguez of Grace After Fire presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Sailing Angels for providing a valuable and therapeutic experience to women veterans in the Houston area. 
 
The mission of Grace After Fire is to provide the means for women Veterans to gain knowledge, insight and self-renewal. These special women are dedicated to helping women Veterans help themselves. They teach, develop
and listen to their fellow women Veterans' needs upon returning home. They also assist in their transition back into family life, achievements in the work place, and their pursuit of happiness.

Maisie
Testimonial

Child with Down Syndrome "Row, Row, Rows" the Boat

"My daughter, Maisie Martin who is 5 years old and has Down Syndrome, had an opportunity to take part in a sailing trip with The Sailing Angels Foundation. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the most amazing experiences for her, as well as myself.
   I wasn't sure of how to prepare Maisie for the trip, but figured she would have a good time on the water and boy, was I right! Once we got situated in the boat and were ready to launch into the water, Maisie started singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." This really took everyone by surprise because she started singing a very fitting song and it was a song that I didn't even know she knew. We all joined in and sang with her, as we happily sailed away in the water.  This made the trip get off to a great start.
   During the boat ride, Maisie had a chance to put on the Sailor's hat and steer the wheel with some assistance. She absolutely loved it and kept wanting another turn at steering. It was so serene and tranquil being on the water and it seemed to have removed all the cares in the world...at least for that moment. I am looking forward to Maisie's next sailing trip and can't wait to see what new thing she will say or do to express her excitement for being on the boat for another sailing adventure!"
-- Eleesha Martin 
Texas Recognizes Sailing Angels

Governor Greg Abbott and State Representative Dan Huberty recently recognized the Sailing Angels Foundation with a State Resolution that commends our organization for its contributions to the community. We hope that both of these outstanding public servants will join us for a sail before long!

Debbie Hughes, left, and Capt. Dave McCabe, right, receive certificate from Gov. Greg Abbott, seated center, and Rep. Dan Huberty.
   
Houston Festival Focuses on Disabilities

is a free city-wide festival that promotes inclusion and celebrates the lives, stories, and talents of people with disabilities.  This year the festival will screen 12 films beginning Sunday, February 14 through February18 at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24. There is free admission and parking with advanced registration for evening and  matinee selections. 
 
Space is limited; registration is required.  For the full schedule of all 12 films and other events to reserve your FREE tickets:  http://bit.ly/ReelHou

The Scrapbook: Sailing Angels Memories

Welcome Aboard!

Congratulations to volunteer Kelah Raymond Garner, along with her husband Terrell, on the birth of our newest sailor: Alexander Thomas Garner!  He may have to put his full head of hair in a ponytail soon, just like Captain Dave. Ah'vian is pleased to announce that she is officially a big sister.
Capt. Dave McCabe
Houston Hometown Hero:  Capt. Dave McCabe

Congratulations, to our very own Captain Dave McCabe for being awarded the Houston Hometown Hero by the Houston Chronicle! This award was based on numerous testimonials (over 100!) from our Sailing Angels participants (thank you very much!) See Captain Dave here, featured on the front page of the Hometown Heroes section. The full article is available at this link:

Read the Houston Chronicle Story
Sailing Angels Foundation | davemccabe@sailingangels.org |  www.sailingangels.org
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