Chad Salinero of Salinero Enterprises, Inc. is planning the island’s biggest boat show… and his wedding.

“Yep, we’ve been engaged since October,” he said of fellow Noon Rotarian and, Director of Student Services and Exceptional Student Education at Key West High, Lesley Messier.

“We actually met at Rotary,” Chad added. “It took her forever to go out with me. I had to ask her out like 100 times before she’d take me up. Now, we’ve been together for a year and a half and this is our second Boat Show.”

Immediate Past President Ron Leonard is pretty pumped for the event, too. The marine theme means more time with his friends and family, too. His daughter-in-law and Pubic Relations Director at FKCC, Amber Ernst-Leonard will volunteer for the first time. 

“It really makes it special for me to have her as a member. She’ll be out there in force with everybody else,” Ron affirmed.

“Awe, that’s sweet,” Amber said, adding that she’s excited to help out. “I’m going to be selling sodas with the Interact club so; this whole event holds a special place in my heart. I was an Interact member with Key West High School.”

When asked if the Boat Show, now in its eighth year, would float without Ron, Salinero said firmly, “No way! This weekend is about the entire club of 125 members and raising money for their Key West High School Scholarship Fund.”

“We hope to make about $10,000, but we’ll always take more,” said Leonard.

New boats, used boats and anything for the water will be sold this weekend. Lookers and buyers will trek down from the mainland to buy and take home whatever floats their boat.

For fellow Rotarian and local contractor, Bob Chinnis, last year turned up an item from… an infomercial?!?!

“I bought the Sham Wow!” Chinnis remembered. “It’s some sort of absorbent cloth. The infomercial guy’s girlfriend was here selling them.”

But the big push is to sell boats, beer and food. The vendors all pay the Rotary a fee to peddle their wares and water toys, and then all the money, plus beer sales, ends up in the scholarship fund.

“The foundation members brought up the avenue and it’s turned out pretty good,” Leonard said. “Plus, we find it rewarding to meet out-of-town people.”

For your viewing enjoyment, the Key West Coast Guard Sector will show off some of their toys with rescue demonstrations, and another organization has donated free rods and reels to give away to the youngsters. Several people have even volunteered for clean up on Sunday following the event.

Lesley is stationed on the trash committee.

“She’s definitely ready for this to be over, so I can get back to working on the house,” Salinero shared of his plans after this weekend’s Boat Show and before the wedding bells. Sadly, there won’t be a pool to party in once the place is cleaned up.

“I couldn’t get a good price on one. The year before we had a 10 x 10 and at the end of the show we were all in it!”

To sign up for a booth or donate to the scholarship fund call Chad at 305•360•0747. The Boat Show is this Saturday and Sunday February 27 and 28 starting at 11 am. Head to the Truman Annex on US 1and MM 0!


The Sham Wow will be for sale among other items relating to boating, water, and commotion on the ocean. Sham Wow



Chad and Lesley
Boat Show chairman Chad Salinero and his flame Lesley Messier will be doing double duty at the event. Chad and Lesley



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