This was the inaugural year for the Sea Tow Foundation Hero Award. Its purpose is to recognize and thank Sea Tow franchise owners or employees who have exemplified the mission of the Sea Tow Foundation by promoting safe boating practices in their local area. In order to be eligible, a Sea Tow franchise owner or employee must be nominated by someone outside of their operation. Sea Tow Foundation Executive Director Gail R. Kulp, CAE, and a committee of Sea Tow International staff members select the winners from the eligible nominees.
Ms. Kulp and Sea Tow Services International Chief Administrative Officer Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III presented the award to Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake Co-owner Howard Kaplan on behalf of the Elletts, who are his partners in the operation.
Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake serves Sea Tow members and other boaters on one of Virginia’s most popular inland boating destinations. Over the years, the Elletts have received numerous Sea Tow accolades recognizing their professionalism and life-saving efforts on behalf of boaters in their area.
“Given their ongoing dedication to promoting boating safety and life jacket use, Sea Tow and the Sea Tow Foundation are honored to present Rick and Nancy with this prestigious award,” said Sea Tow Founder & CEO Captain Joe Frohnhoefer. “They host five Life Jacket Loaner Stations around Smith Mountain Lake where boaters can borrow free life jackets for a day of fun on the water. The Elletts also promote life jacket use at community events each year, and this past July, they hosted a life jacket drive to collect donations of new and slightly used life jackets from the public.”
Kulp said, “I’d like to give Captains Nancy and Rick Ellett my congratulations and thanks for the outstanding boating safety initiatives they are continually taking on and around Smith Mountain Lake.”