- Posted by upperbay
- On April 24, 2017
- 0 Comments
- Boys and Girls Harbor, Clear Lake Shores, Dickinson, El Lago, friendswood, Galveston, Houston, Keels & Wheels, Keels & Wheels Concours d'Elegance, Kemah, League City, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Upper Bay Frame and Gallery, Webster
2017 marks the 22nd year of the international charity event, Keels and Wheels Concours D’ Elegance, being held at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas, on Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th, to benefit the Boys and Girls Harbor in La Porte, Texas. Started by Bob Fuller and Paul Merryman, it has grown into one of the largest and most prestigious classic car and classic boat shows in the USA, drawing over 15,000 visitors, enthusiasts and collectors from around the world, annually.
Today, I’d like to share with you how the Boys and Girls Harbor came to be the recipient of the money raised by Keels & Wheels, which over this event’s existence, has given out more than 1.6 million dollars to charities in and around Houston, and how you can help, too, even if you can’t attend this year’s event.
But first, a little backstory.
I first met Bob Fuller when he and his wife, Judy, came into my framing shop and gallery to have me frame the custom grill badges they have made each year to commemorate this event. Grill badges are highly collectible by car enthusiasts and each year, only 100 of these are made, with all proceeds going to support the Boys and Girls Harbor. More on this later in the post.
I asked Leslie Carothers, the owner of The Kaleidoscope Partnership, the woman who has been helping me with my Facebook advertising and who is also now writing blog posts for me, (including the balance of this one), if she would interview Bob and find out more about his event and how I could help support the event by sharing about it on my blog, with all of you.
I wasn’t sure if Bob and Jane would agree, but, when I asked them if they would be open to it, they were happy to oblige and so Leslie went to interview Bob last week at his offices in Seabrook, and I hope you enjoy reading her interview below, as I now turn it over to Leslie…
Hi Upper Bay Frame readers! This is Leslie and it was my joy to have the opportunity to interview Mr. Bob Fuller!
I was a little nervous, to be honest, but Bob Fuller was as welcoming as he could be and so I jumped right in to find out all about how he came to choose Boys and Girls Harbor of La Porte, Texas as the charity Keels & Wheels supports, a charity whose mission is to provide healthy, comprehensive care for children and families in crisis.
As it says on their site, “for children who are experiencing family hardship, neglect, abandonment or abuse, Boys and Girls Harbor provides a family environment in a home setting. Through its programs, the Harbor strives to help children learn to overcome self-destructive patterns, break cycles of abuse, develop social skills, learn responsibility, and work towards becoming healthy, happy and productive members of society.”
Mr. Fuller shared with me that, in the beginning, Keels & Wheels D’Elegance supported Cystic Fibrosis for several years, but that, eventually, via an introduction made by the Boys & Girls Club of Houston to Boys & Girls Harbor in La Porte, he decided to have Keels & Wheels support a smaller charity closer to Seabrook, the home of the event, one where every dollar given makes a visible difference to the boys and girls served.
Boys and Girls Harbor has an interesting history, one which I found fascinating and hope you will, too. It was chartered in 1947 by the members of Houston’s Downtown Optimist Club with the support of many prominent Houston business and civic leaders. Texas Governor Ross Sterling and his wife donated their 21,000 square-foot mansion in Morgan’s Point, Texas overlooking Galveston Bay, to the Optimist Club to be used as the first home for “Boys Harbor”.
As approaches to caring for children changed, the Harbor’s Board of Directors chose to sell the mansion with its large orphanage-like environment and relocate the campus across the street on land partially purchased from and partially donated by the Sterlings. In 1962, four family-style homes were built, with additional buildings and support facilities added over the years. In the early 1980s, three new brick homes were built for girls and organization’s name was changed to Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc.
Now, Boys and Girls Harbor has many wonderful outreach programs available to the children they serve and the entire Bay Area community has become very involved in supporting the wonderful work they do, thanks in part to the light shed on their work through Keels and Wheels support of them these past 8 years.
Mr. Fuller was so happy as he was sharing with me that the Ladies Association of Lakewood Yacht Club helps the children year round now, and especially at Christmas-time, and that the Alumni Club of Sam Houston State University has also become very involved. As you can see in this collage I created, even The Container Store, recently opened in Baybrook Mall, chose to support this wonderful charity during its grand opening last November.
After we finished discussing how he came to choose Boys and Girls Harbor, I asked Mr. Fuller to tell me more about the grille badges that he and his wife had had Patricia frame for them. I came to my meeting with him not really knowing much about them and just how collectible grill badges are.
He enlightened me and told me that grille badges are major collector’s items for classic car enthusiasts, and even for regular car owners. Little did I know! After I got home, I went online to Collector’s Weekly, and found out there’s a whole world out there of people who collect and trade them! It was all brand new and fascinating to me.
And now for how you can help, if you’d like to.
I had taken some pictures earlier of Patricia’s framing work for the Fullers, of all the Keels & Wheels grille badges that have been been created so far, and am sharing that here with the permission of Mr.Fuller. As you can see, these grille badges are available for 40.00 each, and all proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Harbor!
The Fullers, Patricia and I would love it if you would purchase one (or more!), either for yourself or as a gift (maybe an early Father’s Day gift?) to help support www.boysandgirlsharbor.org.
The order form is shown below, and as you can see, the grille badge is 3″ tall x 4.5″ wide and is enamel on brass. It was made for the Fullers by Jennifer of Crown Trophy in Seabrook and its design was an internal team concept, with artwork finalized by Jim Sweeney of Big Daddy Marketing. It can be displayed on a car or on a boat.
There are also a few grille badges still available from previous years, and if you are interested in purchasing one (or more ) of those, they are only 30.00 + the 5.00 for shipping. However, if you live here locally, and are planning on going to Keels & Wheels, you can pick it up at the event’s Merchandise Booth on May 6th or 7th.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to interview Mr. Fuller and we both want to thank he and his wife, Judy, and their entire team, especially their event and sponsorship chair, Chris Ann Conn, for their service in support of the Bay Area’s most needy children.
For a bit more about the Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance event, and some of the fun activities that will be surrounding it, including the children’s activities, we invite you to click here, to read this recent article.
For a more extensive article about Mr. Fuller and his background, we invite you to click here, and for more information on the website of Keels & Wheels Concours d’ Elegance, whose title sponsors this year are Bay Area Regional Medical Center, The Lincoln Motor Company and the City of Seabrook, we invite you to click, here.
For tickets to the event, we invite you to click here.
Mr. Fuller: thank you for your time, I so enjoyed the opportunity to meet you and find out more about you, your event, and the Boys and Girls Harbor, and now, I’m turning it back to Patricia…
Bob and Jane, thank you for giving Leslie your time, and for allowing me the privilege of serving you. We all appreciate what you do for the Boys and Girls Harbor organization and I look forward to attending Keels & Wheels Concours D’ Elegance in 2 weeks with Leslie – thank you for the tickets.