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People with disabilities invited to Metro Parks' Dec. 5 holiday cruise

December 1, 2015

Volunteers, donations needed for 43rd annual event on Thea Foss Waterway

As many as 200 people will get what may be their first experience as a passenger on a small vessel during Metro Parks’ Holiday Cruise for people with disabilities.

“It’s all about the smiles,” said Brian Prudente, of the Day Island Yacht Club, who together with his wife, Barbara, has hosted Holiday Cruise guests on the family boat for about 10 years.

holiday cruiseThe Dec. 5 event, based at the Foss Waterway Seaport, runs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and features a post-cruise dance party and a visit from Santa Claus.

Between 35 and 40 boats typically take part. Young Sea Scouts work the docks and help guests board. Individual boat owners contribute, and the cruise gets additional support from the Tacoma Yacht Club, the Fircrest Yacht Club, the Day Island Yacht Club and the Totem Yacht Club.

Volunteers and participants typically don holiday garb and boat owners decorate their watercraft to enhance the experience.

group wearing lifejackets

Speaking for his fellow skippers, Prudente said the experience is gratifying. “We get more out of this than our guests,” he said of the happy group of holiday passengers he and his wife have welcomed on their boat year after year.

Additional boats, volunteers and contributions are needed. Volunteers may be asked to chaperone guests on the boats or serve on shore, perhaps as one of Santa’s elves. Monetary donations are welcome, as are supplies, including cocoa, cups, coffee, creamer, snacks, water bottles, tables, chairs, heaters and fuel.

  • What: Holiday Cruise for people with disabilities
  • Where: Foss Waterway Seaport
  • When: 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Dec. 5
  • Cost: $10. Preregistration is required.

To volunteer or for more information: Call 253-404-3950

Learn more about Metro Parks Specialized Recreation programs for people with disabilities.

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