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Foster children go sailing

PLEASURE ISLAND - It was a first for many children in the foster care system. The Pleasure Island Yacht Club and Child Protective Services joined together to create an adventurous field trip for more than a dozen foster children.

They learned about boats and enjoyed the hands on experience of raising the sails and steering into the wind.

This is the first time Keith Ainsworth has walked onto a sailboat with his two foster children.

"This will give them confidence that they feel they weren't able to live a normal life and now they see things like this and it uplifts them," said Ainsworth.

They are among a group of foster children spending the day with the pleasure island yacht club.
Most of the children here have never been on a boat.

"It was great, it gave the boys an opportunity to sail," said Ainsworth.

Ainsworth's boys are 11 and nine. Today the captain is teaching them how to hold the ropes and raise the sail.

"I had no idea what to expect, Victor and Dustin they were wonderful, well behaved and I enjoyed them, have them on my boat any day of the week," said Ted Mahavier.

Ted Mahavier is a member of the pleasure island yacht club. Members wanted to share their love for sailing with foster children across southeast Texas.

"I'm a teacher by trade, I love teaching, every time you light up a child's life, I get a lot out of it," said Mahavier.

The fleet sailed across the blue water off the Coast of Pleasure Island.

"Sailing excites every child; it's great to watch them on the water," said Mahavier.

Mahavier hopes this adventure will stick with these children....long after they leave the island.

This was a moment for bonding for the boys and Ainsworth.

"This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, I feel fulfilled I'm up in age, you fall in love with them, but they need you just as much as you need them and it turns out to be a great experience," said Ainsworth.

Ainsworth says by the next time he and his boys go sailing. They won't be a foster family anymore, they will be a forever family.

Child protective services would like other groups or organizations to share their time with foster children.

A special thanks to Rao's bakery in Beaumont for providing lunch for the children.

Also, there are hundreds of children in the foster care system who would love to be a part of your family.

Call 951-3354 or log onto www.adoptchildren.org to learn how you can change the life of a child.

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