I have always linked big checks (physically as well as numerically big) with people who won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes (if that was real). But thanks to your support and the hard work of James, Sloane, Laura, Laurie, Tom, our families, our partners and everyone who came aboard, voted, spread the word and helped with Rozalia Project this summer, we were selected as the national winners of the Interlux Waterfront Challenge! And with that honor came a big check (physically and numerically) of $20,000 to go toward our programs next year!
Interlux even brought me to the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show for the press conference and presentation of the award. It was a great day. Beyond just receiving the grant, I also got to talk with journalists from different parts of the marine world (from Soundings to Fisherman Magazine) and had the opportunity to tell and show people about Rozalia Project and what we do.
I have to admit that for a bit, we did know about this awesome award and were sworn to secrecy (which was a little tough I have to say) but this past week also brought a surprise honor.
In a smooth twist of scheduling, the VideoRay International Partners Symposium (VIPS) happened to be in Key Largo from Monday-Wednesday of last week. I am a regular attendee and presented about how Rozalia Project uses its quintet of technology together to achieve our goals. I also got to teach the new user workshop which I enjoy. This is a well attended event with incredibly bright people from all over the world and from throughout the underwater world. They use their VideoRay ROV's for everything from keeping our ports safe to search and recovery and underwater crime scene investigation to research and monitoring underwater structures. Our keynote speaker at the awards dinner was Chris Fischer from Ocearch. Those are the guys who catch, tag and release sharks - including great whites. And he uses VideoRay's to film the excitement.
The surprise of the week came right before Chris was about to speak, VideoRay gave out their yearly awards... and Rozalia Project won for Best Public Relations story! Brian Luzzi from VideoRay presented me with a beautiful clock/barometer set that will look great on American Promise (and of course tell us when the weather is about to change).
No time to bask in the glory, I am back in the office hard at work looking for interns, looking for partners, writing grants, sending out press releases, and organizing next year's schedule (and there must be more). But, it is certainly worth every minute now to tell all of you how much your support on Facebook, in the voting contests, by email and in person matters. Thank you for helping make this first full year one worthy of these awards.
Now we are psyched to see what we can do next year!!!
For a Clean Ocean and Lake,
Click here for the press release
Click here for a video interview taken by Fisherman Magazine at FLIBS