“Kids go hungry everyday in our community and they need your help – join forces with the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor and be a hero. Donate today so these elementary school children can have a meal every day - not just Monday through Friday.”
Craig McKenzie, US Navy veteran and real estate broker with Keller Williams Whidbey Realty, is leading The Craig McKenzie Team. This man on a mission is a 23-year resident of Oak Harbor and is devoted to his family and his faith.
McKenzie had a series of unexpected events after turning 50 this past November then discovering his father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, signing up with Homes for Heroes, and then taking a leap of faith by leaving his former real estate brokerage firm and joining Keller Williams.
In early 2016 Homes for Heroes approached McKenzie to work with them: while carrying a significant financial commitment, the decision is one he values and wishes he had been part of sooner. Homes for Heroes is a national program that was created after the tragic events of 9/11, whose purpose is to provide real savings and rewards for our nation’s heroes when they are buying, selling or refinancing a home. Shortly after his decision to begin work with the Homes for Heroes program, Keller Williams recruited him to build his real estate business with them. While McKenzie had great success and no ill will toward his present real estate brokerage firm, he realized they would not be able to support both the Homes for Heroes Program or his desire to build a real estate team. So the move to Keller Williams Realty seemed a perfect match.
McKenzie jumped head first into his real estate work and built a team. Amidst the chaos of moving his real estate business and setting up a new location he was asked to join the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor. Within weeks of joining, another incredible opportunity was presented to him: bringing the hydroplanes, or hydros, back to Oak Harbor, which would serve as an ambassador for the community. The funds raised from the hydros would be donated to the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor to support their ongoing services like the backpack lunch program presently serving 83 elementary school children who would otherwise go hungry.
The mission of the Rotary Foundation and its members is to enable the advancement of goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, support of education, and the reduction of poverty in the community. Local efforts include funding scholarship programs, DECA Business Club, Robotics Club, and most importantly the pack back program intended to alleviate hunger in the community. Presently 83 elementary school children go home on the weekends with a backpack filled with food. These children qualify for free lunches during the school day and often go hungry during the weekend.
The Craig McKenzie Team committed to taking on this incredible project, calling it Hydros for Heroes in recognition of not only the service men and women, but also all the heroes in our community who are unrecognized or under recognized: first responders, teachers, parents, local food banks, medical professionals, business leaders, coaches, and many more. The First Annual Hydros for Heroes will be held the weekend of August 13 and 14 on Oak Harbor Bay located in the downtown core of the lovely seaside city of Oak Harbor. The event will run cooperatively with the long running Annual Carshow and PigFest as a combined celebration featuring a variety of foods, beverages, vendors, and entertainment. This weekend promises to be a fun filled weekend packed with excitement and adrenaline rush.
The hydroplanes are the world’s fastest speedboats on the water featuring up to 3,000 horsepower and speeds in excess of 100 MPH with unmatched speeds and performance on the water delivering adrenaline-pumping speed and thrills for the community with every turn. Visitors will hear the loud thunder across the harbor as the hydros compete for the first place spot in each of their respective classes.
McKenzie has worked hard his whole life and while he continues to build his business, he has made a recommitment to his community and his core values. This is a leap of faith as he builds his legacy for his family, team, and the community.