LONGBOAT KEY – Women from the Cedars Tennis Resort & Club embarked on a mystery tour aboard the Anna Maria Island Privateer’s parade vessel, the Skullywag, on April Fools’ Day, but they had a serious mission in mind.
Organized by Canadian resident and part-time Bradenton Beach resident Karen MacKay, the mystery tour drew 28 participants, collecting donations for the American Red Cross to help support Ukrainians impacted by the recent and ongoing Russian invasion of their homeland. MacKay’s grandparents emigrated from Ukraine to Canada in 1918.
“The pirate ship arrived at the tennis resort playing loud music from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie and the ladies’ mouths dropped in surprise. Most of them guessed we were going somewhere in golf carts, walking to the beach or doing nothing at all because it was April Fools’ Day,” MacKay said.
“Cheap wine and beer were served and our destination was the Anna Maria City Pier, where we had 45 minutes to explore. The ladies were thrilled and we loved watching the smiling faces on the adults and kids as we rode by in the Skullywag and waved. The most important thing for me was to give back to the Ukrainians and the bonus was we had fun doing it,” MacKay said.
MacKay encourages others to donate to the American Red Cross in support of the war-impacted Ukrainians.