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HomeBusiness & CommunityEat Pancakes, Save Lives: Coast Guard Auxiliary Fundraising Breakfast

Eat Pancakes, Save Lives: Coast Guard Auxiliary Fundraising Breakfast

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A good pancake breakfast can do much to fill the tummy and fortify the palette–and, on occasion, it can help to save lives.

The Hernando Beach Marine Group/Coast Guard Auxiliary Building pancake breakfast fundraiser will be celebrated Saturday, June 15, from 9-11:30 a.m., at 4340 Calienta St. in Hernando Beach, on the corner of Shoal Line Blvd. All-you-can-eat pancakes are $5; breakfast meat costs $3 extra. And it’s all to benefit a great cause.

“The Pancake Breakfast has been a fundraiser for many years,” explained Dr. John Paul Reeve, President of HBMSG, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit. “There was a short break during hard times, but it was reinstated this year with much success. It provides an opportunity for the Flotilla members to offer a great breakfast to the community and to raise needed funds to keep the building functioning and in good usable condition. Members of the Flotilla are directly involved with cooking and serving the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser.”

“The Pancake Breakfast, along with other fundraisers and boating classes, generate funds necessary to allow for HBMSG’s continued existence in the building along with the Flotilla’s expenses,” he continued.

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Reeve says that Hernando Beach Marine Safety Group (HBMSG), a non-profit 501c3 corporation, is “financially responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building/grounds, payment of all utilities, taxes, repair of equipment, keeping the emergency generator and fire equipment up to date and operational, all certificates necessary, and ensuring the building will be ready to serve as a command center if and when a disaster hits.”

As they enjoy a classic favorite breakfast food, guests will be supporting a valuable public resource.
“The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 15-8 is open to the public to join,” explained Reeve. “Some of the public services provided by the Flotilla include safe boating classes, free boat inspections, assistance in search and rescue missions, public safety and security patrols, commercial fishing and vessel exams, operate and assist government agencies in mass casualties and disasters, operate in pollution response and patrols, and are on call to operate in any missions under the direction of the US Coast Guard or Secretary of Homeland Security.”

This vital organization and the building in which it is housed play important roles in the county and of the countless boaters who enjoy our tropical waters on a daily basis.

“In 1982, the Flotilla15-08 completed construction of the current building and entered into a lease with Hernando County. An addition to the building was made by the Flotilla several years later,” said Reeve. “The Flotilla’s mission is to provide for boating safety training and certifying boaters and their boats in proper use and equipment for safe enjoyment of their boats while promoting safe water activities in the Hernando Beach Community. This has been the same mission since inception in 1976.”
In addition, the HBMSG building is a multipurpose structure and community hub.

“The HBMSG building is also used as a community center and public meeting place for community town hall meetings, candidate forums, boat lift meetings, waterways committee meetings, polling station, Neighborhood Crime Watch and HOA meetings. Also, it is available to rent by the general public for private events,” Reeve said. “There are many other public social community activities that the HBMSG actively provides to the community such as Family Fun Nights, K-9 Karnival fundraisers, community haunted house and trunk or treat, Christmas holiday festival, community yard sales, pancake breakfasts, and more at minimal or no expense to the public.”

HBMSG, Reeve reveals that the auxiliary conducts and promotes many of these events as a service to the Hernando community.

“We have partnered with Hernando Beach Marina since 2013 to offer the Cardboard Boat Race as an exciting, fun-filled boating experience for the community to build boats of all shapes out of cardboard and tape, then compete with each other paddling through a water course to win trophies and prizes for the best boat design, and the fastest boat in each category,” he said. “Bill Ferreira, HBMSG’s past president, introduced and began this entertaining event back in 2013.”

When Hurricane Idalia hit in September 2023, Reeve reveals, the Coast Guard Auxiliary/HBMSG building was established as a staging area for the United Cajun Navy, a non-profit group of local volunteers. With the direct hands-on assistance of HBMG and Cajun Navy, hundreds of residents in the Hernando Beach community were assisted with the removal of storm debris and provided water, food and cleaning supplies to those in need.

“The HBMSG, a non-profit 501c3 and the Flotilla 15-08 have provided the public with these services that are essential to the safety and well-being of the community for over 50 years,” explained Reeve. “A special 50-year recognition plaque was presented to the Auxiliary by the County Commissioners on March 14, 2024, at their regular meeting, along with a resolution proclaiming May 18 through 24, 2024, as Safe Boating Week. The Coast Guard Auxiliary/HBMSG building is and has been the community “town center” for Hernando Beach.”

Future fundraisers include the Cardboard Boat Race, Oct. 5, 2024; Community Yard Sale, fall 2024; Community Haunted House and Truck or Treat, Oct. 31, 2024; Christmas Holiday Festival, date TBA; Family Fun Night, next date TBA. Boat Safety Training classes and inspections are scheduled at various dates during the year.

And according to JP Reeve, the need is greater than ever. “There is no question that water safety is vital to the massive influx of boaters into both Florida’s fresh and salt waters,” he said. “Our building is truly an icon for Hernando Beach!”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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