FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – There are a lot of groups and individuals involved in all of the development on the river. For this My Hometown Sara Schaefer introduced you to a man who started one of those groups, the Tri-State Water Shed Alliance, and is on the board of a handful of others.
His father had a deep love for the water and with three generations of sea captains on his mother’s side, it’s no wonder the same can be said for Dan. “I spent a year out of high school, went up and worked on not only lobster boats but tour boats. I worked on towboats on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. I worked on a shell bridge in the Gulf of Mexico. So, it seemed like every time I took off to go live somewhere, I found myself working on boats.”
It’s safe to say, ‘like father, like son.’ “We lived right along the river right by Northside High School and so as a kid my father would take us over. We’d go fishing and we had a rowboat and there’s an island. We’d spend the night camping on the island. So I had a lot of experience as a kid through my father.”
Then Dan spent his life riding up and down the rivers. “I have to laugh because the Soil and Water Conservation office is up by Parkview North and I feel like I’m going to Michigan when I have to drive seven miles.”
You may have seen him on his pontoon. Or one of his other 20 rides. “I have two sailboats. I sail up in Lake Michigan out of Traverse City. The canoes, the kayaks, the power boats the pontoon boats. The word boat is really just an acronym for bring on another thousand.”
Born and raised in Fort Wayne, Dan still lives in the house his father built. But now with his other half, Judy. The two met at a CPR class, Judy was the instructor. Heavily involved in volunteering, he said she helped get that ball rolling. “Nobody stands alone. People would put me up at a high pinnacle well it’s probably her shoulders that I’m on.”
But it can really all go back to his father. Following in his footsteps of a love for the water and having a meaningful purpose. “He was always a giver and I think that’s the two things I got from him was a work ethic and giving back to your community.”
Sunday on First News, Sara will show you exactly how Dan has given back to the community. He’s been a man fueling the talk of riverfront development and a key factor in what’s going on. She’ll explain how including the latest project- the canal boat. We have an exclusive first look inside before the boat opens to the public.