Ventura Breeze article

Pirate Ship Hoists It's Sails For A Good Cause

By Angela Rosales

When you first meet the Robinsons, it’s clear that 7-year old Reece is the apple of his family’s eye. Reece joyfully reciprocates his parents love by greeting them each morning with hugs and jokes before they head out to drop him off at school and make it to work on time.

The Robinsons are a pretty typical Ventura family. Father Scott makes a living as a carpenter, wife Judy is a software project manager, 21-yr old, Amanda, a college student blossoming into adulthood, and Reece is a busy 2nd-grader. Reece also happens to be one in about 400,000 Americans born with an extra copy of Chromosome 21. This means he was born with the United States most common genetic condition known as Down syndrome. But the family story is not one of struggle, but of love.

“Reece is incredibly fun, loving and caring. I wish more people were like Reece. Every morning is like Christmas morning” says Scott. Judy agrees, “He’s the sweetest kid. He just lights up my world when I look at him.” In fact, Reece has brought so much joy to the Robinson family that they are now two-months into the process of adopting a 2-year old boy with Down syndrome from an orphanage in Bulgaria. Scott explains their well-thought-out decision to adopt, “through our experience of raising Reece we have learned that having a child with Down syndrome is a blessing, not a constant challenge. And our Journey is traveled by many and there are so many children in need.”

But the adoption price is hefty. A single adoption could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 once the agency and background check fees are factored in along with travel expenses. The Robinsons need to raise an amount in the mid-$30k range to bring their new son home. Though this is a staggering sum for the family living on a modest income, it’s not a deterrent. “A child with Down syndrome is so opposite of what people think,” says Judy. “There are an estimated 153 million orphans in the world. Although we can't save them all, we can make a difference for this one.”

To raise the funds needed, they’ve begun hosting several fundraisers. This includes turning their Halloween tradition into an adoption fundraising event fun for the whole family. The Robinson pirate ship has been a neighborhood Halloween treat for several years. But this year, Scott has decided to make it even bigger and better. “Every Halloween our family decorates our house with a pirate ship with cannons that fire, but it will be nothing like last year” Scott promises. He’s right, considering the 35’ long and 20’ tall pirate ship anchored on their mid-town front lawn.

 Parents can bring their children to tour the ship the weekend before and after Halloween by appointment and drop by between 4-9pm on Halloween night. A donation of any size would be appreciated, but is not necessary to gain access into the ship. Children can have fun steering the ship and collect candy booty from the pirates treasure chest. On Halloween, there will also be a pirate crew on hand to help it all run smoothly. A pirate crew “who can’t act,” jokes Scott, “but it’s going to be a lot of fun. The community has enjoyed and celebrated with us each year and this is a special year.” Reece agrees and invites you to come see for yourself Halloween night. 397 Emma Avenue, Ventura.

For more information contact Scott at To keep up with the Robinson’s adoption journey , go to To learn more about adopting children with Down syndrome, go to

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