Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina GM Joe Lewis to receive Sea Tow Foundation Golden Life Jacket Award

Sea Tow Foundation
September 12, 2013
Filed under News

Award Honors Local Heroes as Part of Sea Tow’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Orlando, Fla.—September 11, 2013—Sea Tow Central Florida Lakes Owner, Captain Kerry Kline will present Joe Lewis, general manager of Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina, with the Sea Tow Foundation’s Golden Life Jacket Award on Saturday, September 28. The presentation will be made 10:00 a.m. at the Sea Tow display located at the entrance to the 2013 Orlando Boat Show in the Orange County Convention Center’s West Building.

Capt. Kline nominated Joe Lewis to receive the Golden Life Jacket Award for his countless hours of service to the boating public and to the marine industry at the local and national level. Lewis teaches four community boating classes, including Boating 101, Fear of Docking (and how to overcome it), Women on the Water (including taking the helm), and How to Maintain Your Boat. His marina office has a Sea Tow Life Jacket Loaner Station where boaters may borrow a life jacket for an extra guest on board, for example, or a child who has outgrown his or her own PFD.

Lewis is the current vice president/treasurer (and past director) of the Marine Industry Association of Central Florida (MIACF), and is past president of the Marine Industries Association of Florida (MIAF). He serves as treasurer for the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), and is chairman of the National Marine Manufacturers’ (NMMA) “Grow Boating” campaign. Lewis has received numerous marine industry awards for his achievements in sales and customer service, including being named to the MRAA Retailers Hall of Fame.

“Joe’s lifelong passion for boating, his professionalism and his commitment to helping make being out on the water safer and more accessible for all is an inspiration to everyone in our industry and to the Central Florida boating community,” said Capt. Kline.

The Sea Tow Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Founder and CEO of the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider, Sea Tow Services International, Inc., in order to promote boating safety practices across the U.S. The Foundation launched the Golden Life Jacket Award this year as part of Sea Tow’s 30th Anniversary celebration, and plans to continue it as an annual awards program.

The Golden Life Jacket Award is presented to “local heroes” in communities across the nation who provide guidance to youth on boating safety issues on a volunteer basis, and/or have made a positive difference in their community by promoting boating safety and life jacket use – one of the Sea Tow Foundation’s core missions. Each year, Sea Tow franchisees may nominate candidates from their community whom they feel are worthy of receiving the Golden Life Jacket Award from the Sea Tow Foundation and a local franchise.

“Local heroes like Joe Lewis are making a huge difference every day in their boating communities by helping to make boating safer and more enjoyable for everyone,” said Gail Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation.

Lewis grew up boating with his family in Harrisburg, Pa. “When my parents split, boating was Dad’s activity, so we did a lot of it when I was a kid,” he says. He bought his first boat in his mid-20s, which eventually led him to trade a career in outdoor power equipment distribution for one as a marina owner and boat dealer. He purchased the Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina in 1989. Today, boating remains both his business and his passion. He enjoys spending family “quality time” on the water with his 19-year-old son, “J”, and 17-year-old daughter, Julia, both fans of wakeboarding and wake-surfing.

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