Friday, September 30, 2011

Find Our Fathers

Our mission was to extend the search and rescue and it certainly was not the intent that we would have to continue our mini crusade of fund raising and conducting our own private recovery.

Our fathers had the biggest and most loving hearts. Part of this love for life, love for family and friends, was shared with their love for fishing and one another.

My father as I understand it was one of the men that never received a warning. He was alone in his room. His friends shared with us the pandemonium and how quickly the boat sunk. I cried for days wondering why. Why did he choose to be alone, why wasn't he warned, why didn't any of the crew members whom my dad "personally took care of" warn him? Why?

I'm certainly not alone in my pursuit of "whys." The survivors, -my dad's friends are haunted by this notion day in and day out. The families too, have shared their fair share of questions. The questioning continues as each day passes. Some days are easier than others. We are in this nightmare together.

As I see it, I may have lost a Dad, but now I have a larger extended family.  My family is now joined by 19 other families, as we are all united and bonded for life.

Thank you to my sister Catrina for helping us obtain these bracelets. I will wear this pride. If you'd like to make a donation to help us locate our fathers, please see our website at If you'd like a bracelet, please email us at

-Mandi Lee

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Survivors share what happened that night of July 3

Thank you Bob Higgins, Gary hanson, Jerry Garcia, Dave Levine, Steve Slonekar and rescuer, Mike Kalicki.

Facebook Stats . . .Keep hope alive and spreading the word one post at a time

4,000 weekly users
367,808 total posts
This data corresponds to 08/03/2011 - 09/01/2011.
3,203 United States
29 Canada
20 Mexico
9 Philippines
7 Australia
4 United Kingdom
3 Italy
2 Japan
2 Spain
2 United Arab Emirates
2 Norway
2 Hong Kong
2 Kenya
2 Singapore
1 Guam
1 Brazil
1 Ireland
1 Indonesia
1 Brunei

This data corresponds to 08/03/2011 - 09/01/2011.
399 Pleasanton
274 Santa Clara
267 Seattle
256 San Francisco
117 San Jose
109 Los Angeles
80 Walnut Creek
78 Sacramento
65 Stockton
54 Oakland
53 San Diego
43 New York
43 Rohnert Park
40 Irvine
40 Overland Park
39 Dallas
32 San Mateo
30 Doylestown
28 Livingston
Language?LanguageAggregated language data about the people who like your Page based on the default language setting selected when accessing Facebook. This data corresponds to 08/03/2011 - 09/01/2011.
3,236 English (US)
44 English (UK)
9 Spanish
8 English (Pirate)
4 Spanish (Spain)
3 Leet Speak

Every letter counts. . .

Thank you Mike Tanaka and Senator Inouye.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Letter to the Secretary of Tourism, August 6

Dear Mr. Funcke,

 I am very appreciative of your diligence and cooperation to assist us in bringing our loved ones home. Sir, we have been working tirelessly for the past 36 days; fund raising, speaking to our congressional leaders, and maintaining the attention of mainstream, so when I received your email, it brought me some hope. We (7 families of the missing men) have in place a website that has gained worldwide attention and a facebook page, which since it’s inception has had 1,000,000 views. We have obtained over 4,500 world-wide signatures. We are confident that we will raise 10,000 by the end of the month. We are touched by the generosity and kindness of thousands, thus restoring our hope and faith in humanity. The world-wide support we’ve received has also reminded us the importance of man’s fundamental need to feel safe and secure as many have expressed how their fathers, uncles son's have either fished in Baja Mexico, or our avid fishermen. 

Recently, I was interviewed by our local newspaper, and my mother by our local news station. We felt it was critical to mention the graciousness and kindness of the people in San Felipe in their efforts to help us return our father’s tackle box. We have received box loads of letters from strangers and donations from those wanting to help the people in San Felipe as a result of learning about the safe return of my father’s tackle box through our use of social media and mainstream media. Survivors on the Eric; Bruce Marr, Glenn Wong, Craig Wong, and Charles Gibson reported to San Francisco Associated Press similarly, their experiences with the locals in San Felipe and how they'll never forget the angel wings spread upon them through their selfless acts of the generosity and care of strangers when they faced near death experiences. I’d happily provide this information to you to include on your website if you are interested.

Since our last correspondence, you mentioned how authorities have informed you on the estimation of the where the ship is located, with an estimation of the depth at which rests.  I am wondering, if you can obtain this information. In addition, it would be helpful to learn what type of equipment was used, number of divers, how wide of an area was searched and the hours expended for the dive (s)? We have asked our own government; State Department and Department of Defense and they were not able to provide us with this information.

With regard to the limitation on the inability to make visual contact with the ship, thus impeding dive efforts to conduct the deep water search, I am wondering if it is possible if your government is able to look for funds in various branches of the Mexican government to partner and bring our loved ones home because we can not accomplish this without your assistance. We have asked our government to do the same, but without conclusive findings on the dive your government conducted, we our left with another reminder of the “unknown,” that continues to plague us.

We plan on visiting San Felipe in the upcoming weeks. We hope we can personally thank the locals that have helped the survivors as well as my family. I respectfully appreciate your time and efforts. I hope to meet you as well to thank you in person for your guidance and facilitation in this matter.

With much appreciation,
Mandi Lee
(Daughter of Donald Lee)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Koong's Chinese Restaurant in Miliptas - 3 day fundraiser

  • From the wall of Ed Bernana: 
    On behalf of the Families of the missing Fishermen, I want to thank all my friends and Family who supported the Find our Fathers Fundraiser these past three days. My wonderful wife Mallory, my Sis in law Jackie Uribe, Nick and Nick Caraveli Jr., Mark Melin, Jason Dorsey, Doug Hames, Kathy Longorio and The Great Freddie Mata all came to Koongs Chinese Restaurant in Milpitas. Love to you all.
    Hope gives us strength! 

Busy, busy spreading the word and raising money one day at a time . .

from facebook wall:

Week of August 21:

Awesomeness! Final Edition in Santa Rosa! Thank you Carol Divodi!
Carol Divodi's Final Edition Poker Run here we come!!
Round Hill Country Club, Alamo
Thank you Cheryl Krier, Mary Chiu, Tonya Chinchilla President of the Contra Cos...ta NAIW Association and its members for supporting Findourfathers!

A celebration of Gene Leong

from wall post on facebook:
 Today we laughed and cried happy tears remembering a fabulous cousin, uncle, husband, dad and friend who was loved by so many. We saw video of him fishing and his "Oh shit" experience, as well as tales about his 55' Chevy from the good ole' days, and his zip lock bag moments. What a wonderful man and human being. His wife Karen, held her head up high with poise, elegance and strength. His son Craig reminded us that his father believed that we should live life to the fullest and without fear. His son Mike reminded us that we can not give up hope.
Eugene Leong ~ Gone Fishin

Survivors meet with the families of the missing fishermen

August 11, 2011

Joe Beeler, Dennis Deluca, Jerry Garcia, Bob Higgins, Lee Ikegami, Bruce Marr, Jim Miller, Mike Ng, Gary Wong, Rich Ciabattari, and Pete Zugar met with the families today to share their seconds they had before the Eric sunk. Today's meeting provided us with greater understanding and filled in the gaps that news reports failed to report. While it was difficult to listen to their horrific details, what is alarming is that every single survivor shared how there wasn't a single warning made by a crew member and how they had seconds to jump ship. A mere warning could have alter...ed their rescue, could have saved lives. We learned a tremendous amount today. Thank you to all of the men for revisiting those horrific moments just so that we can sleep a little better, just so that we could find some sort healing in all of this. 

Rich Ciabattari's life ring
Wall Photos from facebook

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fisherman Never Lost Hope . . .

Three fishermen lost at sea for nine months relied on a fishing rod constructed out of broken engine parts and rain collected in a bucket to survive.
Sometimes going days without food, the group caught sharks — once with their bare hands — and trapped seagulls. The fishermen hid under blankets to protect themselves from the sun.
“We ate raw fish, ducks, seagulls. We took down any bird that landed on our boat and we ate it like that, raw,” Jesus Vidana, one of the three survivors, said in an interview with a Telemundo reporter using a satellite phone from the ship that rescued them.
The fishermen took turns reading from one of their last remaining possessions — a battered Bible, which had only a few worn pages left at the end of their journey.
Most of their supplies had been lost to the sea for weeks when a Taiwanese fishing trawler found the group — naked, burned and emaciated — near the Marshall Islands, more than 5,000 miles from their starting point.
The Mexican fishermen rescued from their watery prison said they never thought they would die.
“We never lost hope because there is a God up there,” Vidana told Mexico’s Televisa news network, sounding hoarse and sleepy. “Our feet are swollen, our arms are swollen ... but we’re not in that bad shape.”
The long trip
Five fishermen departed Mexico’s Pacific Coast fishing village of San Blas between late October and early November 2005 on a routine shark fishing trip in their 25-foot, two-engine boat.

Image: Jesus Vidana
Mexican fisherman Jesus Vidana was rescued on Aug. 16 near the Marshall Islands after drifting for about nine months.
San Blas is home to thousands of fishermen, many without life-saving gear in their boats, said Jose Guadalupe Guerra, a town hall official in San Blas. “The fishermen here are very rudimentary. Most don’t comply with navigation rules, and the authorities don’t demand it either.” The group did not bring a radio nor a cell phone onto the vessel that they would call home until Aug. 9. Vidana said one of the engines broke down early in the trip and the other ran out of fuel. Without power, currents pulled the cabinless boat farther and farther west.
Miguel Gutierrez, a senior official at Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, said a survivor told a government official that one man died in January and the other in early February.
“They refused to eat, and that’s why they died,” he said. The three survivors tossed them overboard instead of using their bodies as food.
The survivors did not mention their dead companions when they were interviewed Wednesday by radio and television stations aboard the boat that rescued them near the Marshall Island.
“It is natural that people who have spent nine months on the high seas, in the conditions they survived, would not have their complete story straight away,” Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said.
The three remaining took turns on watch for other boats while two slept. Vidana said this task caused a considerable amount of tension, although there were never any fistfights.
“We never lost hope because we were always seeing boats. They passed us by, but we kept on seeing them. Every week or so, sometimes we’d go a month without seeing one, but we always saw them, so we never lost hope,” Vidana said, noting that it is difficult to see a small boat in heavy ocean seas.
When the Japanese trawler found them, however, all three were sleeping. Vidana said the three cried when they realized they would be rescued.
‘Miracles exist’
Although most of the town had given them up for dead when the vessel never returned, Vidana’s mother refused to accept her son was dead. She said months ago she dreamed that Vidana was stuck on a deserted island.
The families were ecstatic after hearing news of their rescue. “Now you see that miracles exist,” said Marina Estrada, the aunt of one of the fishermen.

Vidana will return to his wife, parents, and two kids — one of which was born during his absence.
Mexico is sending an official to meet the survivors in the Marshall Islands and help bring them home when the trawler that picked them up returns to port in a couple of weeks.
“We’re recovering,” survivor Lucio Rendon said, “sleeping a lot, and eating well.”
Salvador Ordonez, the third survivor, said, “I knew I was going to live, that I wasn’t going to die.” The three men are around 30 years old.
Vidana said as soon as he returns to his village, he will take his family to a little church and give thanks to God. One of his first questions was who won the Mexican presidential election. He could not wait to eat meat tacos and quesadillas.
Vidana added that he will then continue to fish, noting that’s the only way he knows to feed his family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friend helping friends, one blog at a time . . .

This has purely been driven by a grassroots efforts. First, we wanted to make sure all 27 men were accounted for and brought home. We asked friends on facebook to call and write letters to our local congressional leaders and we were able to get the Mexico to extend the search. As the weeks passed, our objective shifted had to unfortunately shift from a search to a recovery. We are thankful for friends, family and the kindness of others that continue to help us find our love ones and push for justice in this tragedy.  We refuse to have our father's pass in vein.

Our message and cause is being spread, one blog at a time. Thank you Kim Nowlin for caring and sharing.

Friday, August 19, 2011

FoF gets support from Fish Talk Radio, AM830 Will Ebersman and Phillip Friedman

July, 28, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Washington D.C.
 Dear Mr. President:
 I am requesting your assistance in retrieving the bodies of 6 (six) American fishermen, including two veterans who were recipients of the Purple Heart.

On July 4 of this year, the Erik, a Mexican sportfishing vessel operating out of San Felipe, Mexico sank in approximately 300 feet of water.  The circumstances surrounding the sinking still have not been fully explained or documented by Juan Tintos Funcke, Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Norte or anyone else in the Mexican government.

The crew of 17 (seventeen), all Mexican nationals, were rescued.  Six anglers out of thirty-four (34) passengers, all American nationals, are still missing.  To date, only one angler’s body has been recovered.  It is believed that the remaining six victims are trapped in the Eric’s cabins.

There has been little information disseminated to the families of the dead regarding any efforts that might have been taken in retrieving the bodies.

An investigator who was on scene the day the Erik sank was kind enough to share the results of a joint rescue effort with Mexico, which includes the latitude and longitude of the Erik’s projected location.

I am specifically requesting that you exert all possible efforts upon the Government of Mexico to locate, retrieve and return the bodies of these missing American citizens to their families to enable burial and a start to the healing process.

I eagerly await a response.  As co-host of Fish Talk Radio, AM830, KLAA, Anaheim, CA (Thursday evenings, 9-10 PM), I have received a number of inquiries regarding this unfortunate event.  The American public wants to know what is being done.

Please do not hesitate to contact either me at (323) 839-8349 or via e-mail at   My co-host, Mr. Philip Friedman, is available at (424) 237-0250 or via e-mail at, if you have any questions or need additional information.

 Will Ebersman and Philip Friedman

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thank you Mexico for extending the search, however . . .

Mexico extended the search because of the actions of the PEOPLE (facebook friends) whom wrote letters, made phone calls and signed petitions asking our congressional leaders to request that Mexico extend the SEARCH. 

Thank you Representative Jackie Speier's for writing a letter to Hilary Clinton, where in which this letter was signed by: Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Representatives: Pete Stark, Lynn Woosley, Ann Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Jerry McNerney, and Mike Thompson. Thank you Leland Yee for holding a press conference and assisting us as well!

While we are appreciative that the search was extended, we still have a boat that needs to be located and retrieved. Of the 1,400 views we get a day, we hope that those of you in power can continue to help us. That includes those within the Mexican Government and our own Government. Yes, we are respectfully asking you to take action.

39 Days

We do not know the exact coordinates of the vessel Eric.

We do know that it was the locals that were the first to respond, the McGee's helped coordinate a rescue effort with many others involved too (Vasquez family, and Malicki family).

We do not know why more is not being done.

We do know that Mexico is investigating the incident.

We do not know the whereabouts of the owner and or captain.

We do know that our loved ones have been out there for 39 days. Storms will occur in the Sea of Cortez, but deaths could have avoided by a simple distress signal, warning to ALL passengers and life jackets for ALL passengers.

We do not know how Mexico is investigating this nightmare without the evidence, the BOAT.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Facebook Stats . . .Keep hope alive and spreading the word one post at a time

Monthly Stats:
6,250 monthly active users4,071 since last week
3,280 people like this25 since last week
1,035 wall posts or comments this week73 since last week
2,775 visits this week272 since last week

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Perseverance is a great element in success; if you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate you are sure to wake up somebody. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, August 8, 2011

Response from Secretary of Tourism for the State of Baja, Ca 7/29/11

Mr. Funcke responded promptly to an email from Mandi Lee, daughter of Don Lee. When she requested information regarding the location of the sunken ship, he responded, "-Authorities have informed us that they have estimation of  where the ship is located, as well as estimation of the depth at which it rests. Despite the descent of Navy divers to a depth of 40 meters-as far as their equipment allows-they could not establish visual contact with the ship. This limitation makes it important to note that the Government of Mexico asked for assistance from the U.S. Government in the form of specialized equipment to conduct the deep water search."

The Goodness of People. Renewal in Humanity . . Hope Gives Us Strength

from a Ed Berbena, posted on facebook on 7/3/11 
Yesterday I downtown the morning at the Great Mall in Milpitas passing out fliers and talking to businesses. Talked with Starbucks Supervisor Chris who allowed posting of our General info Flyer but needed to wait fir Mgrs. Approval to post... fundraiser flyer. As I was leaving he called out to me, reached out to hand me something and almost in tears said, "I wish I could give you more but here's a couple of dollars. I hope it helps". I thanked him, told him what a Big Heart he had and
how donations can be made. I tell you this because this made me realize that for all the Immoral, dishonest political BS in this world, for the most part I still believe in the overall goodness of people. It is important to me, as I am sure it is to all of you, the work we are doing to get our family members
and friends home. If possible, what's just as important is how we are touching people's Hearts
and Lives and allowing them into ours. This gives me Hope. Many of us have been turned away by
restaurant business owners, some won't even let us hang a flyer. One wanted to charge me
to hang a flyer. I choose not to dwell on this negativity. Instead I'll forever remember Chris, scraping a few coins up to help a fellow human being. It keeps me going.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Find Our Fathers fundraisers TODAY!


Rigatoni's in Dublin - all day
Chevy's at various locations - 4 to 10pm

Go to to print flyers you need to have at the time of purchase!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New and improved letter to Department of Defense

U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta
Office of the Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC  20301-1400

Dear Secretary Panetta:

On July 3, 2011, seven California families lost family members aboard the Erik, which capsized in the Sea of Cortez south of San Felipe in Baja, Mexico. As of today, seven California families are left wondering if their loved ones remain within the Erik. They are unable to properly mourn their loved ones, access life insurance, retrieve financial instruments and administer property. The U.S. Department of Defense officially declined the families’ request to send expert divers to aid in the search due to lack of resources.

In 2001, a Japanese fishing vessel, Ehime Maru, was struck by the U.S. Navy Submarine Greenville as it surfaced. The Ehime Maru immediately sunk. It was moved to shallow water as the ocean floor was determined to be too deep to send a dive team. Eight of the missing fishermen's bodies were recovered.

The United States rightly recovered a foreign boat and subsequently searched it for missing crew members. It fittingly can and should afford the same respect to our very own U. S. citizens. It is the U.S. Department of Defense’s duty to search the wreckage and bring our seven missing Americans home. Two of the missing fishermen are decorated U.S. Veterans; Gene Leong is a recipient of a Purple Heart and Albert Mein received eight service awards during his tour in Vietnam.

I respectfully urge you to take immediate action:

         Reconsider the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision about assisting with the recovery efforts
         Appoint experts to locate the boat and lead a feasibility analysis to determine if a dive team can be sent to the Erik’s current location with expert equipment or if the Erik needs to be moved to shallow water for a dive team to search.
         Authorize and deploy an expert team to Baja, Mexico. Based on the feasibility analysis, deploy the expert team(s) needed search and recover the seven missing American men; Donald Lee, Albert Mein, Gene Leong, Russell Bautista, Shawn Chaddock, Mark Dorland and Brian Wong.
It is our duty as the United States to honorably act on behalf of our citizens, especially our U.S. Veterans.


Address ​                     ________________________________________________________________

City, State  Zip           ________________________________________________________________

 cc:       President Obama
            1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We've come this far and have succeeded. This isn't over yet! HELP US!

10,047 monthly active users
3.507 weekly active users
1,595 daily users
Keep spreading the word . . .good job everyone! Our priority is to get petitions signed! The last petition had an unbelievable 2,000 votes and resulted in the search and rescue extended beyond the 96 hour window! BRAVO folks! This was completed in under 5 days!

Now it's a shame to even ask this, but now we need a "search and recovery" with locating the vessel and an investigation that includes a dive. While we would hope that our government would look out for us, we are realizing that this is not necessarily the case. We need YOUR help once again. We need a second petition and this letter is addressed to Leon Panetta, Executive Secretary to the Department of Defense, CC President Obama.

So let's challenge ourselves. We ask you to print the letter to Leon Panetta. Xerox as many as you can. Ask friends, neighbors, strangers to sign them.

Mail them to PO BOX 310 El Granada, CA 94018. DEAD LINE: Friday, August 5. Our goal was 2,000 with the previous petition and we succeeded! Let's make this 10,000!

What's our plan? Xerox and scan each one. Send them to every Congressman on this planet and let them know that we mean business. The families need closure and justice.

Here's a quick review!

1. go to
2. Click on "Spread the Word."
3. Copy and paste letter to US DEFENSE SECRETARY PANETTA
4. Xerox as many as you can
5. Ask family, friends, mail carrier, dog walkers, etc. to sign the petition
6. Mail them to PO BOX 310 El Granada, Ca 94018

*Gathering signatures on petitions work! Help us bring closure and justice to this tragedy and strength to ensure that this doesn't happen to you or your loved ones.*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Petition to DOD!

Office of the Secretary of the Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

 Dear U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta:
As you know, in the early morning hours of July 3, a fishing boat capsized and sank 80-100 miles south of San Felipe, off Mexico's Baja Coast. A grassroots effort by friends and family of the seven missing men has garnered media attention and volunteers, but we need you to take immediate action.

I am making a personal plea for you to use your influence to:

(1) Get the dive approved to investigate the wreckage. I learned today that the dive was not approved by the Department of Defense. The families of the seven missing men need closure. Searching the wreckage would either give them that, or let them know that they can still hope their family members are out there, in the water or on land. Please approve a dive to search the "Erik."

(2) Continue the search efforts. I also learned today that the Mexican Navy has called off their search and rescue. These men could be on land, too weak or far from civilization to contact anyone.

Regardless of the reality of these men's survival, don't the friends and families deserve to find the remains of their loved ones...for closure, to ensure their loved ones are given a proper burial, etc.  Please do not let these opportunities pass by. Please do not condemn the friends and families of these men to a cruel and desperate limbo. Please do not condemn these men to be lost to their loved ones forever.

You hold 7 families' hopes in your hand and when you count the number of individuals per family along with their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and business partners, you are now looking at hundreds of people impacted by this tragedy.  Please help bring their loved ones home.



President Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500


Saturday, July 23, 2011

This will both enlighten you and enrage you; and after you've processed this information we encourage you to act!

Friends in Livermore go the extra mile to support FOF

If it takes a village to raise a child, it will take the collective efforts of family, friends, supporters and politicians to find our fathers, uncles, brothers and best friends. Friends of "find our fathers" in Livermore are working collaboratively to spread our message. Many thank you's to the following:
-The children, family, and staff (Roz Hamar, Ann Clark, Ana Suan and Gretchan Mancieri) of Valley Montessori for showing their support to Mandi Lee and her family.

-MaryEllen Kordes with help of Cindy England for reaching out to supporters within their network to reach

-Arden and Kendall Waters for designing, creating, maintaining and constantly updating the FOF website

-Jamie Chrisp for contacting and organizing Melo and Casa Orozco fundraisers (printing and distributing fliers, DSL printing in Fremont, contacting and using your resources . . .balloons and all)

-Lauren Doko - writing letters, contacting the Livermore Patch, thinking "out of the box" to help our cause, and gathering donations and petitions at your garage sale

-Cindy Pietro and Clear Channel communications for posting FOF on radio station websites and "on air" plugs over 10,000 people

-Andrea Santin for your endless support and for organizing the Rigitoni fundraiser in Dublin

-Thom Brown and Safeway Corporation for supporting our cause by distributing restaurant fliers to your customers (all employees at the Melo's plaza will be dinning at Melo's)

-Chris Brown for connecting with your organization "Livermore Military Families" where in which the co-founder and president of Blue Star Moms sent a mass email to all Northern California families about FOF

-Marc and Maria Canet for using their resources to have trinkets made (flashlights and squeeze balls) to distribute at the Melo's and Casa Orozo fundraiser

-Julie Singleton, Julie Reyes, Jamie Chrisp, Maria Canet, Los Positas Golf Course -Jeff and Geanna DeBenedetti for distributing fliers about the Livermore restaurant fundraisers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

All it takes is just a few to spread the word . . . .thank you Larry Mo!

Dear Friends and Business Partners,

Don't worry this ain't no SPAM mail either. 
I have never written an message like this before but here it goes and if you are reading this it means you are a valued friend or business partner that I have great encounters with or a good vibe with you in the past. So bascally if you are getting this you know you rock!   Needless to say as a friend I am asking for your assistance in the story I am about to share below.  The story is tragic yet through the aid, assistance, and hope of so many kind family members, friends, and strangers it has really shown me the power of getting the word out and the great outpouring of support and spirit of humanity.
So please take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read the story below because it could happen to you or someone you know.  I am going to give you a brief summary of the story in my words mostly and a little copy paste action. 
On Sunday July 3rd, 2011 at about 2:00 am on a fishing boat named the Erik that was somewhere 60-100 miles south off the of San Felipe and 2 miles off Mexico's Baja coast (Keep in mind Mexican Territory).  There were 43 people on the boat which comprise of 27 American tourist and 16 crew members on board.  So as bad luck has it the boat was hit by a very sudden and violent storm.  Just think it's 2:00 am almost pitch black and you are in the middle of a storm at the mercy of mother nature.  The boat capsized and to date all except 7 souls have been accounted for.
So there was a huge search and rescue effort (SAR) by the Mexican and U.S. Coast Guard.  SAR is usually for 96 hours but through the efforts of all 7 families began an effort to get the SAR extended and it worked.  This effort included contacting media, contacting elected officials and finding support from others. Through these efforts the creation of a tools to help the cause and get the word out to the public:
1) The website  (This has all the info you will need for the story, updates, fundraisers, status, donations, petitions) 

2)  Find Our Fathers Facebook Page

4)  The Find our Fathers Twitter account

So on Tuesday July 12th the SAR effort was formally terminated.  So these 7 men are still missing and keep in mind usually after a search and rescue is over then a recover effort begins.  Here is where excuse my English but the sh*t hits the fan and has caused so outrage and shock due to what happens next.  So basically the Erik is somewhere around 200+ feet down.  So we are in Mexican waters so in order to start a recovery effort we need Mexican government to formally request assistance from the U.S. government since they did not have the resources for a complex dive of this nature.  Well Mexico did request help from the U.S. and the request was then routed to the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D.) to formally request resources meaning U.S. divers to be sent to Mexico to search the wreck.  Well you would think of course they will approve this its a no brainer we got 7 missing U.S. citizens 2 of which are veterans and my friend's father Gene Leong even has a Purple Heart from his duty in Vietnam.  We don't leave our people behind.  So the D.O.D formally denied the request on July 12th for the dive........................I know what you are thinking WTF it was our side the U.S. that has failed us which is bullsh*t in my opinion.
So the estimate to do a dive project of this nature is around $300,000 OK really the U.S. government can't spare that much I mean come on we house death row inmates at a cost of up to $92,000 per year but we won't give the families closure on 7 missing U.S. citizens.  Also remember they are declared missing currently so this can also put many families into hardship because of legal issues such as Living Trust, a Will, joint accounts, business owned because they nothing can be executed on since they are missing and not declared...... well you know what I mean.  So seriously people this makes me sad to be a U.S. citizen for the first time in my life to hear that our government doesn't have the backs of these families.  If it was some elected official you know we would be down there with divers already but basically they are saying these 7 souls and their families are not important enough for our resources = $$$.  Some one let the D.O.D. know that they should stop following the phrase "greed is good" cause humanity is more important.  They paid taxes all their lives and are honest law abiding citizens so where the heck is our tax money going if not to help our own??
OK here is my vested interest in this story.  I personally know 2 of the missing men which is Donald Lee and Gene Leong.  They are the fathers of friends that I have known since high school and I grew up being friends with their kids who I am good friends with today. Don actually became my uncle in law a few years ago after I was married.   It really doesn't hit home when you are watching the news and see something like this on TV till it happens to someone you know or even worse to 2 people you know.  Donald and Gene play many roles as husband's, father's, grandfather's  brother's, friend's, and mentor's depending on who you are.  They are good kind hearted men that always wanted to help people so lets do these 7 men justice and try to bring them home or have a dive to investigate what happened to them. 
So this is the current status of what Find Our Fathers has as goals to accomplish and both goals are of equal priority. 
  • With the support of many; family, friends and even strangers; many fund raising events are being coordinated to cover the cost of a self-funded dive expedition (estimated to be $300,000).  See website for details on events or how to donate
  • Urge the Department of Defense or any other entity in government to get a dive approved.  If you go to the website on the upper left corner of the home page there is a electronic petition or if you would like additional info or a hard copy template to print please select "spread the word" under the "How you can help" area on the home page of
The entire goal of this email weather you receive this via work email, personal email, facebook, or attached to a pigeon is lets all help get the word out there to as many people as you think is possible.  Please feel free to forward my email to anyone who you think will assist doesn't matter if it's just signing the petition but the more people that know the better and if we are based on a democracy then let the people be heard.  So yes I am using the power of the web to spread the word for my friends and their families because just imagine it could have happened to any of us.  If we can't depend on the government then fine, I know we can depend on hearts of people.
If you can assist with any of these items below we would greatly appreciate it:
1) Sign the petition electronic on the home page or use the templates provided in the

2) Show your support by donating or coming to a fund raising event if you are in the area.  There is a donation link also on the website

3) Spread the word!!  Send this message to anyone that you think will listen it is a honorable cause and tell them to keep spreading the message.  My hope is that in the end this message that I am sending will eventually reach thousands of people and those people know tens of thousands of people you know chain reaction.  Use whatever means you think will help the cause.  Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Text, phone, or even smoke signals. 

4) If you have ideas on how to help the cause or fund raise or know any business that would be helpful to the cause please let me know.  Every little bit helps at this point

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you can help with the cause.  It is amazing what people are capable of when others need help it's the kindness of all who have helped so far and those to help in the future that bring hope and strength to these seven families and public awareness is currently our strongest tool at hand.  "Hope gives us strength"  a quote from Find Our Fathers cause.  So that is the far

Russell Bautista
Shawn Chaddock
Mark Dorland
Don Lee
Gene J. Leong
Al Mein
Brian Wong
"And knowing is half the battle"

Kind regards,
Larry Mo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Official Site of San Felipe and Baja

Check out this site - specifically take a look at July 4-15 posts.

** FUNDRAISER - Show your support - Join us at Papaya Grill TODAY! **

20% of sales on Wednesday, July 20
will be donated to Find Our Fathers!
Please plan a meal or two at the San Ramon Papaya Grill located at
280 Market Place,
San Ramon, CA  94583

Wednesday, July 20. All day (10:00 am - 8 pm)

Thank you!

A huge thank you to the The Prickly Pear Cantina for a great fundraiser yesterday!  There was a packed house with
good food, drinks and company!

Thank you to all of you that came out to support Find Our Fathers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

** Support Find Our Fathers at the Prickly Pear Cantina! **

20% of sales on Tuesday, July 19
will be donated to Find Our Fathers!
Prickly Pear Cantina
Please patronize the Prickly Pear Cantina located at
3421 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA.
All day (11:30 am - 9 pm)

Thanks to Rodney Worth (proprietor) and Eric Parcasio
for supporting our cause!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

** FUNDRAISERS: July 19, 20 and 28th **

Show your support for Find Our Fathers!
to see our upcoming fundraisers!

Thank you to
the Prickly Pear Cantina, Papaya Grill and
Melo's Pizza and Pasta

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Prayer List

Below is a list of people who have sent prayers via our
Find Our Fathers Facebook page

The families of the survivors and missing men are overwhelmed with the amount of support and prayers that people have sent.  We realize that there are lots of prayers that are being sent that may not be posted, so thank you, thank you, thank you!  We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such truly genuine, warm-hearted people.  Thank you!

Aaron Nielson
Aimee Nunes Rubia
Alana Chin
Alex Christianson
Alycia Kim
Amber Foltman Schocdal
Amber Tamera Lomas
Amy Reynolds
Andy Schwipps-Allison
Angela Huang
Ann Marie Bailey
Ann Scullion
Ann Walsh
Annette Alcones Fucanen
Anthony Soohoo
Anthony Spears
Barbara Borelli
Barney Mangabay
Becky Smith
Becky Springmeyer
Bet Embree
Beth Griewing
Betty Fritz
Bill Lee
Brenda Miller Lenz
Bridgette Cox-Ulkaonu
Bridgette Spaky Bee LuvnMe
Bryan Hargrave
Cameron Nichols
Camille Hudson
Carey Aloha - Levine
Carissa Lugo Leimbach
Carissa Lugo Leimoach
Caroline Bader-Hepting
Cassandra Karen Reed
Catherine Cuevas
Cathy Lambiase
Cecelia Ferry Peterson
Chelsea Haberman
Chelsea Lewis
Cherie L. Nelson Rowe
Cheryl Wong
Christian Calingo
Christina Sandoval
Christina Souza Pontiflet
Christine Harkness
Cindy (Lou) Sheridan
Cindy Ford
Cindy Sheridan
Cindy Younker Fleckner
Cortny Reina Goodman
Craig Gietzen
Dan Dias
Dan Fryk
Dana Rubio Garcia
Dani McQuinn
Dani Thelena
Danielle Maie Beardsley
Danny Wandersee
Daren Dunn Findley
Dawn Matthews
Debra Chew Chan
Dee V. Ram
Denise Naganume
Denise Salazzar
Donna Gonzales
Donnalee Fejeran
Doreen Miller
Douglass Magee
Ed Berbena
Elayne Fiorelle Forgie
Eleanor Carmen Arreola
Elle Johnson
Erin Peterson Gilmore
Erlanda Anderson
Fiona Szeto Dalipe
Gail Lund
Gail Tsang-Lieuw-On
George Del Castillo
Gina Anadon Alaniz
Gloria Ritchie
Heather Rath
Helen Millus
Hisa Naito
Ivy Tom
J.C. Chinn
Jaime Benzar Chrisp
James Benjamin Mariano
James Hallen
James Klyn
Jane Ng-Lara
Janelle Manalo
Jason Mein
Jd Adkins
Jennifer Wadsworh
Jim Jensen
Jim Misto
Joanne Chen
Jodi Stinebaugh
Joelle Bautista
Joem Velez
Johanna Morelli
John Nielson
Johnny Liu
Joleen Nichols
Judi Lewis
Juli Slicton
Julianne Golden
Julie Gurule
Julie Hardy Bell
Julie Park
Kam McGeary McCallan
Karen Luey
Karen Smith Cooper
Katherine Davis Zagami
Kathi Shapiro
Kathryn Patterson
Kathy Nielson
Kathy Yamamoto Harano
Katia Welding
Kellie Pfeifer-Kroplinski
Kerrie Hudzinski Lindstrom
Kerry Fong
Kim Hansard
Kim HansardJoel Ramirez
Kim Wagg
Kimie A. Good
Kristina Kearnan
Kristy Harns
Kumba Bangurah
Laura Openshaw Gonzalet
Lauren Brown Hawley
Leah Rasser
Leatrice Dosharm Garcia
Lee Nakamoto
Letty Turtle
Lex Chan
Lisa Cox
Lisa Patel
Lori Goldbeck
Lori Stevenson-Secchitano
Lorie Goldbeck
Love Tennis
Lucia Celeste
Manny Djstreak Llancs
Marci McKail-Crews
Marcia Lee
Marcus Young
Marianne Foreman
Marim Soto-Basel
Marisa Brooks
Maritza Zaparolli
Marlene A. Baird
Marsha Thompson
Mary Hugo Basuel
Mehana Thomas
Melani Apongol Montez
Meredith Pistulka
Michelle Garcia
Michelle Pelkey
Michelle Stallme-Eggers
Midnyte Black
Mike Harrison
Misty Lee
Mitsy Ikegami
Molly Oto
Monia Wong
Monica Jaime
Monica Wong
Nichol Thomas Garcia
Nick Miller
Nicole Adamo
Nicole Serrett Dummitt
Nisha Nagdev
Odette Lutge
Pamela Yelyeh Carter
Patricia Benton
Patti Maffia
Pebbie Jair
Pebbles Robinson
Peggy Rae Rae Napier
Peggy W. Woon
Penny Whitt-Leyton
Perla Hercilia Norrigan
Pete Christian
Poonam Khiyara
Prisilla Chun
Raymm Lou
Rebecca Murphy Lytle Mcguyrt
Regina Lackey
Regina Williams Clardy
Roy Gilb
Ryan Jensen
Rylee Mora
Sabrianne Goldsmith
Sabrina Malohin
Salar Major
Salena Rene Mones-Lopez
Samantha Akran
Samarie Brown-Sharp
Sara Trux
Sarah Scherzi-Zwain
Shannon Rowe
Sharol Champagne-George
Shauna McCarthy
Shawna McCarthy
Shelley Jeremy Dorland
Shelley Jeromy Dorland
Sheri Laque
Sierra Godfrey-Fong
Stephanie Caldwell-Carrithes
Stephanie Flood
Stephanie Lau
Sue Hardy Perry
Suzanne May
Sylvia Pugh-Cardinale
Tamara Green-Williams
Tammy Choi
Ted Bell
Ted Donovan
Terri Defreeze
Terry Baldwin
Theresa Fong
Theresa Milichichi-Camber
Tiffany Nugen
Tiffany Reed Carrama
Tiffany Yee
Tina Lee
Todd Nielson
Tony Alves
Tony Chew-DJ Ione
Tory Doty
Tresha God’s got my back Brumfield
Vicki Sue Ruff-Grilli
Victoria Camber-Hudson
William Lou
Yolanda Koukougron
Yolanda Soto
You Chang
Zetha Nobles-Hrf