FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Donations for Salty Sam’s Pirate Cruise totaled $8,000 and were given to the Kids Minds Matter project to help kids in Lee County struggling with mental health issues.
Captain Stephen Sepulveda said it’s all to make the holiday season special for the children. “We have all these adults come on board and they donate a lot of money for a great cause in order to help children.”
The captain said the fundraiser was a ton of fun for the donors and the people aboard the cruise. But their cause is serious. It’s for kids in need of mental health support.
The Lee Health foundation and Golisano Children’s Hospital announced the Kids Minds Matter initiative in a press conference last month.
Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle whose own daughter struggled with bipolar disorder founded the program to help other people’s children. “The goal is to stabilize kids at the earliest possible age and to get them the help that they need to be able to be productive and go through school,” said Goldy.
Even though the cruise was private Salty Sam’s spokesperson David Kastan said people who didn’t set sail were able to help out this time around. “We had more in donations made online from the general public this year than we’ve ever seen,” said Kastan.
This is Salty Sam’s second year raising funds for the project. This year they raised $3,000 more than last year. And they said they’re already gearing up to raise funds again for next year.