Good Grades, Conduct Result in Boat Cruise
By Don Stephens
DELRAY BEACH- While many students were indoors playing video games or outside shooting hoops on Tuesday, a select few of Delray Beach’s brightest young men and women earned the privilege of sailing along the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway from Delray Beach to Boca Raton and back.
At the beginning of the school year these students from Carver Middle, Lantana Middle, Atlantic High and Village Academy schools were given a challenge: finish the school year with A and B averages and they would be rewarded with the cruise and lunch at the esteemed waterside Deck 84 restaurant.
As the students arrived at Veteran’s Park, one by one, their smiles were brighter than the sun’s rays beaming down from the cloudless blue sky. Before boarding the 50-foot Sundancer Express cruiser, the focal point of the day was reinforced.
“Today is all about you, this is your moment,” said Bobby Cannata, chairman of KOPMN, and a mentor with the organization, told the 16 students. “You have earned this day through your hard work and good conduct this year. Congratulations, I am proud of you!”
KOPMN organized the event, which was sponsored by Dan Bradbary, a local resident who offered his boat, and restaurateur Burt Rappoport, owner of Deck 84. Through incentives such as boat cruises and airplane rides, the KOPMN shows students that performing well in the classroom leads to memorable rewards in life.
As the boat left the dock, the students looked ahead in awe of the Intracoastal’s beauty. They beamed with joy when Bradbary allowed each student to drive the boat along the Intracoastal. A few of them basked in the blazing sun on the bow while they got the complete experience of the waterway’s magnificence. As they went under the Spanish River, Linton Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue bridges, the students raised their hands in the air, simulating the same exhilarating feeling one gets from riding on a rollercoaster. Their hard work in the classroom was being recognized and their appreciation for the reward was evident in their eyes.
As they passed by the large waterfront homes the students and chaperones were in awe.
“I have never seen a house that big,” said Zyrka Carter, 13, a student at Village Academy.
These students were being exposed to more than just a beautiful day on the water. They were being exposed to a lifestyle that they could one day hope to attain.
“These people all started somewhere,” said Bob Rossman, a mentor with KOPMN, said of the owners of the waterfront mansions. “It is important that these students realize that anything is possible through hard work and dedication in the classroom.”
After their experience on the water, they moored at Deck 84 where they had lunch. Each student was delighted to hear that they could order anything off the menu. By the end of the lunch, each student showed their appreciation for the cruise and lunch by thanking all of the chaperones for accompanying them throughout the day and making this trip possible.
“It’s obvious that all these people care about us when they take time out of their day to take us on a boat ride and out to lunch,” said 17 year old Atlantic High School student Geovani Martinez.