Giving Back To Our Veterans

RING! Hello, thank you for calling Manta Racks, this is Tim how may I help you?

John: TIM, its John with LIVE Watersports.

Tim: Hey John, What’s up?

John: You will be getting a call from Captain Vinnie for your L2K Rack System. He just bought two of my L2 Paddleboards and he wants to transport them to the Bahamas and up to Nantucket.

Tim: Okay, we can help him. John, why are you giving me a call ahead of time?

John: Well, he’s Jimmy Buffett’s Captain and I want to make sure you will take care of him.

Tim: Okay, cool, we have inventory and will make it happen. Thanks for the heads-up.

Tim: I thought, right, Manta Racks on Buffett’s Boat? I’ve been listening to Jimmy’s music since I was a kid and have gone to several of his concerts. What are the chances?

That is how Manta Racks was introduced to Captain Vinnie, Last Mango Boatworks, and Freedom Fighters Outdoors (FFO).

After fulfilling Captain Vinnie’s Manta Racks order, I did some research on the Freedom Fighters Outdoors organization and came across this amazing, one-of-a-kind, Last Mango Boatworks boat. I wanted to learn more. What an outstanding story…

Captain Vinnie LaSorsa is very proud to be an American and loves our military.  In fact, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Secret Service.  Then 9-11 happened, the World changed, and so did the course of his career.  He always wanted to find a way to give back to the service men and women.  Well, he did just that with the help of his wife, Sarah, Jimmy Buffett and crew.

Along the Keel Podcast – Captain Vinnie & FFO

https://www.alongthekeel.com/podcast-1/episode/280ce4ab/015-freedom-fighter-outdoors-and-last-mango-boatworks

Back in 2009, Captain Vinnie was going to take small group of veterans fishing on his own boat in South Florida.  When Jimmy Buffett heard of the trip, he asked the captain to use his boat instead, since the veterans would be more comfortable on Mr. Buffett’s boat. Mother, Mother, Ocean provided them with a day of splendor; Mahi Mahi, King Mackerel, Yellowfin and Blackfin Tuna. The feeling that overcame the captain watching the comorbidity, excitement, and for that day the smiles and stories that will live a lifetime, was the driving force of what is now Freedom Fighters Outdoors.  In 2014, FFO became a 501(c)(3) with the goal of taking veterans fishing and hunting at no charge to them. They created a formula to provide an all-expense paid trip where previous trip veterans show the ropes to the first timers, to ease their nerves, to support their needs and emotions.  What a winning combination.

https://www.freedomfighteroutdoors.org

Jimmy Buffett has been fully supportive of Captain Vinnie & Sarah’s vision from day one. Not only providing his boats for these ventures but also using the Last Mango Brand as a way to fund the fishing and hunting trips.  100% of the proceeds of sales from Last Mango Boatworks Brand goes to supporting FFO.

Last Mango Boatworks is the brainstorm of Jimmy Buffett with the assistance of Captain Vinnie. Combining the hull of a 42’ Freeman Cat and (with a lot of convincing to get Roy Merritt to agree to partake in the project) a Merritt Yacht Pilot Helm.  This one-of-a-kind boat is designed to handle the Jimmy’s adventures, whether in the Bahamas or Nantucket and of course the adventures of FFO.  

Some of these adventures require paddleboards.  Whether paddleboard fishing the flats for bonefish, exploring the mangroves and estuaries of the Bahamas, or fulfilling the wishes of a combat veteran who wants to try paddleboarding for the first time, Captain Vinnie had to find a way to get multiple 14’ SUPs to the designated location without damaging the boat, the SUPs, and most importantly the passengers.  Manta Racks was the solution to this problem. Through the recommendation of John with LIVE Watersports, Captain Vinnie gave Manta Racks a try. Now, “I have over 10,000 nautical miles on my Manta Racks” states Captain Vinnie. From Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas to Nantucket the Last Mango is ready for any adventure that is requested by Jimmy Buffett and FFO.

So, if you love the USA and its veterans, want to give back, show appreciation to our veterans, consider helping FFO by purchasing some unique apparel from Last Mango Boatworks to show your support. Captain Vinnie, his wife Sarah, and crew have designed some of the coolest fishing apparel out there. https://lastmangoboatworks.com/

 

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