On Saturday, August 25, I attended a Boston Harbor cruise benefitting the National MS Society. I have been on charity boat cruises before so I thought I knew what to expect – lots of people, sponsors and small talk. I was surprised, and delighted, to find that this was a family event. Donn Hockman, who has lived with MS since 1998, and his daughter Amanda Kierce have been raising money for the disease for 10 years now. This year will be their tenth Challenge Walk on Cape Cod September 7, 8 and 9! Over the years, the Hockman family has banded together with friends to raise even more awareness and funds by assembling a board of trustees to host charity events. They employed their good pal Karl Messner to captain his boat The Lexington for their first inaugural fundraiser. The ship is stunning and so was the weather!
We set sail right from The Seaport World Trade Center and after an hour of cocktails and appetizers, Donn took to the microphone to share his story. His speech was light-hearted, informative, grateful, brave and incredibly inspiring. Deeply moved by this family’s strength and their approachability, I spent the rest of the night chatting with the Hockman’s who were so happy to exchange hugs, share their stories and introduce me to their friends. Donn’s wife, Marion Hockman, is a great example of how a good sense of humor can help get you through the toughest of challenges. “I said to the kids ‘I can’t seem to get on your father’s good side. He’s numb one side and numb on the other!’” she laughed. At many events I often feel like just another face in the crowd. The Hockman’s made me feel like family, even offering me a spot with them at the candlelight vigil at the Challenge Walk on September 8th, 2012. The night ended with a silent auction that included plenty of homemade goodies and sporting event tickets.
My experience on Captain Donn’s Sole Patrol cruise showed me that you don’t need big sponsors or celebrity guests to host a fun and unforgettable event. You just need good people. That being said, The Hockman’s and their team will welcome such publicity with open arms!
For more information about the Hockman’s and Donn’s Sole Patrol 2012 please E-mail Sue Messner at email@example.com
For more information on hosting a charity event with Captain Karl Messner on The Lexington please E-mail Karl Messner at firstname.lastname@example.org
To volunteer with or donate to the National MS Society please visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org