The board of directors of Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, or CRAB, established a fund to honor the passing of founder Don Backe, who died April 12 after a long illness. He was 77 years old.
Backe founded CRAB in 1991 after a serious auto accident caused him to lose full use of his legs. He had been a lifelong educator and sailor, and after the accident he strove to find ways to help others experience the thrill of sailing, especially physically and/or developmentally challenged people.
"The sailing community and CRAB family will forever feel the tremendous void Don Backe leaves,” Lance Hinrichs, president of the board of directors of CRAB and a longtime CRAB sailor, said in a statement. “CRAB will strive every day to ensure his legacy continues to bring the joy of sailing on the Chesapeake to more people, people who would otherwise not have the opportunity."
A memorial celebration is being planned for June 23, beginning at 4 p.m., at the Port Annapolis Marina.