AMI Beaufort Trying to Raise Money Through Boats - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

AMI Beaufort Trying to Raise Money Through Boats

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A lowcountry agency helping turn teens around is trying to sell boats for bucks.

"AMI Beaufort" is an agency that helps troubled young men get on the right path by providing counseling, education, and trade skills.

To stay afloat, they want to sell you a boat.

People have donated boats, the boys fix them up, and then they're auctioned to the highest bidder.And all of the money goes back into the program.

"We operate under a contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice, and like a lot of these things, funding is a little short of what is needed to run the program, by about 30-percent, so we have to aggressively look for foundations, donations, and programs such as our boat program provide the extra money needed to keep the program going," said John Huntley, Board of Directors.

It's a program that helps teens like Matthew Lammeris get back on their feet. 

"If this didn't happen, I would talk about getting my GED, it wouldn't happen. I'd go hang out with so and so... it wouldn't come to be. I'm here, I'm motivated, I care more about my life, my eyes are open, I want more."

The organization released the following:

"With needs ranging from a new drinking water well to an upgraded laundry room, AMIkids Beaufort is selling six boats donated by local residents to help raise money.

The boats include a 15-foot Boston Whaler, a 22-foot Mako and 22-foot Catalina sailboat ranging in price from $2,500 to $10,000.

"Our program has its roots in the water, helping young men who made mistakes in life find a new direction in life by learning about the water," said John Huntley, chairman of the AMIkids Beaufort Board of Directors. "With the generous donation of these boats to our program, once we sell them we'll be able to take care of some critical needs at our facility."

The residential facility in Dale provides not only education but numerous hands-on educational opportunities, treatment and behavior modification. AMIkids also partners with eight community service projects throughout Beaufort County.  Only male teens convicted of non-violent offenses can participate. Students work toward their high school equivalency diplomas.

A recent addition to AMIkids Beaufort is a welding program. Young men who successfully complete the training can earn certificates needed for employment in businesses such as auto body repair, aircraft manufacturing and even work in nuclear power plants.

The boats for sale include:

•       1995 Mako 22-foot with  2008 Mercury 225 outboard engine low usage, $8,000

•       1996 Grady White "Seafarer" 22-foot with Johnson 225tx outboard engine, $7,500

•       2004 Chaparral 18-foot inboard/outboard, $6,500

•       1977 Catalina 22-foot sailboat with 1991 Suzuki outboard motor 9.9 hp, $2,500

•       1996 Parker walkaround deep vee 23-foot with 2006 Yamaha outboard 225 hp., with trailer, $10,000

•       1995 Boston Whaler Rage 15-foot jet drive runabout (listing still in progress and no price set yet).

For more details about the boats, please call James Rivers, director at AMIkids Beaufort, 843- 846-2128 or

"We are so appreciative of the people who donated these boats to our program, so that we can sell them and raise some much-needed money for AMIkids Beaufort," Huntley said.

"AMIkids Beaufort is a leader in helping young men find a fresh start toward a better life," Huntley said. "Our staff puts in long hours and the young men put in their best effort – and as a result we see great accomplishments."

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