Boat for disabled vets rehabbed and re-christened

11:31 PM, Dec 7, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- Beverly Young, the widow of late Congressman Bill Young, re-christened the Miss Beverly on Saturday. The 24-foot long pontoon boat is specially outfitted for disabled veterans and was given to MacDill Air Force Base 10 years ago by the local chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The boat was originally donated to help injured vets enjoy the outdoors. But in recent years, the Miss Beverly fell into disrepair. So the PVA sought donations this year to return the boat to her original glory.

"So we got paint donated, seats donated, lights donated," said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Alan Krezeczowski.

Roughly 30 businesses donated items to make the Miss Beverly seaworthy again. Now the PVA says it would like to keep the boat.

"We want to expand the use of the boat and the only way to do that, in our view, my view, in my opinion is to get it out of the base to where people can get access to it," said. Col. Krezeczowski.

The problem is MacDill says Air Force rules prohibit the base from just handing over the boat.

Krezeczowski says this coming week the PVA will meet with MacDill to discuss the situation.

But on Saturday, Krezeczowski says he's just pleased so many helped make re-launching the Miss Beverly a reality.

"A lot of people say thanks for our service everywhere I go. In Tampa Bay, the people here say, 'Thanks for your service, but we're going to do something for you.'"

Last month, MacDill officials christened another pontoon boat named the Bay Warrior.

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