Learn About

Our Programs

Let’s Hit the Water!

Sign Me Up!

To join us, please fill out the Participant Sign-Up Form.

We look forward to getting you on the water as soon as we can.

Our Weller Day Boat Outings

We partner with local private and commercial vessel owners to provide small and large therapeutic boat outings for those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to be on a boat.

Our therapeutic programs take place year-round in Collier, Lee, Broward, and Palm Beach counties in Florida. We offer annual events on Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Georgia, out of Port Royale Marina, and on Lake Monroe in Bloomington, Indiana, out of Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Marina.

Our Participants

We provide individual, small group and large group Weller Day Boat Outings to:

  • Children and adults with life threatening illnesses
  • Children and adults with disabilities
  • Veterans and active military
  • At-risk youth

What Does It Cost?

Our programs are FREE thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers, sponsors, and community partners.

Adaptive Sailing

Adaptive Sailing

We have partnered with Collier County Parks and Recreation since 2003 to teach people with disabilities to sail to the best of their ability.

This program takes place on the lake at Sugden Regional Park in Naples from October through April on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM.

Participants of the Adaptive Sailing Program are invited annually to participate in the Murdo Smith Adaptive Sailing Regatta.

To learn more, please contact the Freedom Waters Foundation office at 239-263-2377.

Murdo Smith Regatta

Anyone who participated in the Adaptive Sailing Program during the past year is invited to join us for our annual regatta, recently renamed the Murdo Smith Adaptive Sailing Regatta (formerly Shenanigan’s on the Lake).

Watch Video!

Taking Care of those who’ve Taken Care of Us.

Veterans Program

Freedom Waters Foundation provides boating and fishing opportunities for veterans and their family members, offering the opportunity to relax, leave their concerns on the dock and enjoy camaraderie with other veterans in a safe, enriching environment.

Veterans Programs take place year-round in South Florida and expand to our annual events in Atlanta and in Indiana. They include individual and small boat trips as well as our popular Veterans Meet-and-Greets aboard larger commercial vessels.

Please fill out our Participant Sign-Up Form to start planning your trip.

Let’s Go Fishing

Fishing Programs

Freedom Waters Foundation offers fishing opportunities for participants, enhancing lives by building upon life skills through the sport of fishing and interacting with our volunteers.

We take children and adults with life threatening illnesses or disabilities as well as veterans out fishing.

Fishing tackle and bait are provided.

Fill out our Self Referral Form to start planning your trip.

Naples, Florida Fishing Tournaments for At-risk Youth

Fishing mentors are partnered with teens, offering the opportunity for these at-risk youths to enhance their life skills through the sport of fishing.

Heels and Reels Fishing Tournament – Female fishing mentors work with teen girls.

Buoys and Bait Fishing Tournament – Male fishing mentors work with teen boys.

Fishing mentors are needed during these annual events. Please fill out our Volunteer Application and share your love of fishing.

Our History

Freedom Waters Foundation was founded in March 2006 by our current Executive Director, Debra Frenkel, a licensed clinical social worker, and yacht broker John Weller, who both still serve on our Board of Directors. Debby has been involved with disabled sailing since 1999 and knew John through her previous employer. John is a six-time cancer survivor and fellow humanitarian who encouraged Debby to form her own non-profit organization. What’s in a Name When selecting a name for the venture, Debby consulted a good friend who has paraplegia and is a top-notch sailor. She asked him what called him to the water. He said, “the freedom.” Thus, the name Freedom Waters Foundation -- which also incorporates an F for Frenkel and W for Weller. Who We Serve Originally focused on serving children with cancer, Freedom Waters Foundation has expanded to meet the needs of children and adults with life threatening illnesses and disabilities, at-risk youth as well as veterans.

We operate in Collier, Lee, Palm Beach and Broward counties of Florida.