America Bought Boston Marathon Hero David Henneberry A Boat


We were humbled and honored last week as we watched an incredible social media wave raise over $50,000 in under 3 days to buy David Henneberry a new boat.

Watertown resident David Henneberry, 66, loved his boat. Those close to him said he was so particular about about it that he refused to use it for fishing, reserving it for pleasure cruising alone.

But on April 19, Henneberry discovered alleged terrorist and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat.

“He didn’t try to be a hero. He didn’t yell,” stepson Robert Duffy said. “His mind instantly did the right thing.”

David alerted the police, and thanks to him, the bomber was captured. However, his beloved boat was shot full of bullets during the capture.

As the story unfolded, America learned about this Watertown hero’s humility as he declined praise and condolences from the media. We learned of his selflessness as diverted donations away from himself, to the physically hurt victims of the Boston Bombing instead.

We learned of his compassion, as we heard of his yearly tradition of bringing the disabled, blind people, and amputees aboard his precious boat, and take them for spins around Boston Harbor.


Instead of sitting idly by, an ordinary Texan, Craig Dunlap, decided to step up. He raised over $50,000 in a heartwarming Crowdtilt effort to replace the boat.

With just a few words – “Let’s pool some money for repairs!” and a personal donation of $500 to “get things going,” Dunlap set off an inspiring wave of kindness and support.


Within a day, a facebook group started by Jeffrey Griffeth got wind of Craig’s Crowdtilt fundraiser and stepped in to help. They raised over $4,000 on the first day and $13,000 by the second day. 430 people from 42 states and 8 countries contributed.

The Boston Whaler stepped in to make a generous, large contribution. And just like that, in under 3 days, over $50,000 was raised.

We transferred the funds directly to David Henneberry and his family. David, who does not have Facebook and is not too good with computers, couldn’t believe it when he heard what hundreds of strangers had done for him. His relative, Kelly, put us in touch with him and told us, “he is beside himself with all of this unbelievable kindness from all over.”

Here’s a letter from Dave Henneberry himself:


[Read the 10 things we loved most about David’s Boat Fundraiser here!]

It was beautiful watching this story of compassion unfold, as a strangers stepped up to help someone they had only heard of. These efforts were featured in TIME, Buzzfeed, Business Week, Bloomberg, the Chicago Tribune, Yahoo News, and The Guardian, just to name a few.

We were blown away by the outpouring of collective kindness over the past few weeks. You all showed America that the internet is a caring place.

It’s people like you, getting involved with campaigns like this, that keep us plugging away at the Crowdtilt office. :)


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead

From the entire Crowdtilt team, thanks for inspiring us.


P.S. Read the 10 things we loved most about David’s Boat Fundraiser,  here!