Punta Gorda boat business carries veteran’s dream for supporting military

It is Southwest Florida’s past coming to life on the waters of Charlotte Harbor and more than that for one veteran on board.

“People come off the boat sometimes just speechless,” said Ralph Allen, King Fisher Fleet president. “That’s really special.”

As the boat rolls over the waves of Charlotte Harbor, it carries on one veteran’s vision for giving back to Southwest Florida.

Passenger on the boat rings the bell. (Credit: WINK News)
Passenger on the boat rings the bell. (Credit: WINK News)

“He was the guy in the neighborhood that was always catching fish,” Allen said, “and giving all the fish to the neighbors.”

After serving in the Navy, Captain Bob Allen found comfort and community on these waters. It is an experience he hoped to bring to others by founding a boating business in Punta Gorda that remains in the family – three generations later – and is inspiring people.

“it’s just our little way of giving back to all of the community members that have served,” said Elissa Allen, King Fisher Fleet general manager.

Cheaper cruises for military members and their families are one way King Fisher Fleet focuses on supporting those who serve. The business said they would continue to recognize military appreciation month with discounts for the entire family of those who serve in our armed forces.

“For a lot of veterans, they definitely need the support financially,” said Aaron Ackerman, an active Navy engineer and cruise passenger. “The fact that they are supporting that and helping people get out on the water that can’t afford it, I think that’s great.”

“Just the idea of being out on a relaxing cruise on the water where there’s no stress, everybody around you is enjoying themselves,” Allen said, “I think that has a lot of value for veterans that are adjusting to life on the street here.”

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Michael Mora
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