Marine Industry and Non-Profits Raise Money to Send “Mission of Hope” to the Bahamas

A coalition of business and non-profit organizations, associations and religious groups organically coalesced around an opportunity to provide direct and sustained disaster relief to the Abaco islands. Originally organized by Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Ben Sorensen and the Rio Vista Church, the group grew to include the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), the U.S. Superyacht Association, the International Yacht Brokers Association and more. The team came together using multiple daily conference calls and WhatsApp to communicate, coordinate and leverage their efforts to raise more than $200,000 in two days.

The funding is being used to deploy True North, Mission of Hope’s 110-foot vessel that has been converted into a floating campus for disaster response teams, including medical and construction personnel that react to natural disasters. 

“Abaco and the islands surrounding it are like family to all of us,” said Phil Purcell, CEO/president of MIASF. “When Commissioner Sorenson called, the marine industry responded quickly and decisively to join this relief effort.”

Andrew Doole, president of U.S. Boat Shows at Informa Markets, said, “The people who have been displaced in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian are our friends, clients and customers and we are committed in the long-haul recovery of this global treasure.”

Hope 4 Hope Town core committee member, Julie Berry of Marina Investments Group, Stiles Realty, was overwhelmed by the stories of destruction and despair, saying, “The images and messages coming from Abaco and the Bahamas are heartbreaking, and we knew we needed to act quickly to help our neighbors and friends who remain in harm’s way in the aftermath.” 

Anyone wishing to join the effort is encouraged to visit the donation page at