On a bright, sunny December afternoon in Edgewater Florida, Fishing for Muscular Dystrophy and Everglades Boats gave Arthur Deutcsh the keys to the boat of his dreams: a brand new 2019 243cc.
The winner of the second annual FFMD/Everglades raffle officially took ownership of his new 243cc at the Everglades facility on December 12. Captain Paul Robertson, the founder of FFMD, joined Arthur and his friend Brady Dugan on an exclusive tour of the facility. Several members of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) executive team were also in attendance for the official handoff, and to thank Robertson and Everglades for their partnership in the fight against neuromuscular diseases.
“This collective effort helps us fund innovations in science and research,” said Adam Cotumaccio, EVP, Chief Impact and Philanthropy Officer at the MDA. “We send almost four thousand children to camp every year. The reason we’re able to pay one hundred percent of that is because of the commitment of companies such as Everglades and [their partnership with] FFMD.”
FFMD is strategically aligned with the MDA. Three years ago, Robertson’s 501(c)(3) organization joined forces with Everglades Boats to increase awareness and support of the MDA, and his efforts are paying off. Deutcsh heard about this year’s raffle online, when FFMD shared social posts as they travelled from Ocean City, Maryland to Destin, Florida for this year's Everglades Rendezvous event.
Deutcsh and Robertson in front of Team FFMD's in-progress 435cc.
“So much of it is awareness,” Deutcsh said. “What got me putting into the raffle was I went to a mud run in Denver for my friend’s mom, who has MS. I haven’t had anybody in my family who has MD, or MS, so I never thought about it. Then I did the mud run, and it hits home, “Holy cow, I know this woman,” so you start looking at charitable events. It’s all about getting it out there. If I don’t do the mud run, if you [FFMD] don’t drive to Destin, someone like me doesn’t know.”
Following the tour of the facility, the iconic chrome letters were applied to the sides of the hull, and Robertson handed Deutcsh the keys to his new 243cc, dubbed “Flippy”.
So what - or who - is Flippy, exactly?
"Flippy is our fishing team, and it's a joke, because Arthur would always catch saltwater catfish, and saltwater catfish you can't eat," Arthur's friend Brady explained. "You want to get them off your line without having to touch them, so you have to take a special tool - it's called a flipper - and you tighten the line and flip them off. So we'd always joke, '"You're Captain Flippy!"', and thus the team was born."
"Team Flippy is about twelve people across the nation, mainly college buddies, " Arthur said. "About twice a year, they all fly into town for a "Flippy" event, and we were actually having one when I found out I won!"
"He got the phone call in front of everybody," Brady added.
Robertson, Deutcsh and Everglades CEO John Ward in front of Deutcsh's 2019 243cc.
All that was left to do was make the long haul back to New Orleans (over 650 miles), where Deutcsh says he will launch Flippy for the first time. Welcome to the Everglades family Arthur, and thank you for your support of FFMD and the MDA!
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