History of Pirates, Inc.

In 1966, the original Tradewinds Rehabilitation Center was the largest building ever constructed in the United States by volunteer union labor with materials donated by local businesses and industries.  Soon after the building was completed, immediate financial assistance was needed because all funds previously collected were depleted during the construction process.  There was no operating capital.  At this time, Tom Nau organized a group of 46 friends, from both labor and management, who responded with financial support to ensure the children would receive the much needed therapy services to enhance their growth and development.  Thus, Pirates, Inc. was born.

Since that rather inauspicious beginning, the Pirate crew has numbered as many as 1,000 over the years and last year at over 500 members strong.  Pirate treasure has resulted in donations to the children’s programs of Tradewinds Services, Inc., The Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana at over $3,750,000 since 1966.

Pirates, Inc. takes pride in the fact that by joining together they have been able to give a child a chance at life that would otherwise have been denied.  The Pirates have provided more than money – they have provided help when it was needed.  Their dues have been translated into first words spoken, first steps taken and first sounds heard, all thanks to Pirates!  As the private sector is being asked to take up the slack in funding caused by the withdrawal of public funds, Pirates, Inc. becomes more and more valuable to these organizations.

Pirates, Inc. offers you a chance to share in their feeling of pride – become a member of “An Elite Fighting Force for Children with Special Needs”.  All it takes is $100 dues per year or $1,000 for a Lifetime Membership.  Together we can continue both the tradition and the commitment to the future of our children.