Dan Marino and Gigi Stetler are an unlikely pairing.
One is a nine-time Pro Bowler, former NFL MVP and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time while the other has spent more than three decades building her business in the male-dominated field that is selling recreational vehicles. Their passion for helping others led them to a business opportunity.
Now the duo has united to help provide much needed shelter for Bahamians still reeling from Hurricane Dorian’s destruction. Stetler, 58, and Marino, 57, will be sending 10 travel trailers stocked full of supplies to the Bahamas, a feat made possible through their work with recreational vehicles.
“People need housing there,” Marino, a brand ambassador of The RV Advisor. “You get the food, you get the canned goods, all that other stuff but they also need a place to stay, especially the workers and people who are going to help rebuild.”
Self-sufficiency makes these trailers the best possible option added Stetler.
“They’re fully equipped, fully self contained and can operate on propane and battery if electricity isn’t available,” said Stetler, the RV Sales of Broward CEO.
The trailers are expected to be sent out the week of September 18. All 10 will be for those helping to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. But with more than 70,000 displaced people, the need for housing is tremendous.
“We need shelter,” said Andy Ingram, a Bahamas-born Fort Lauderdale resident helping coordinate relief efforts. “The RVs can provide a mobile network of stations throughout the disaster area creating a distribution network to get intelligence while at the same time bring much-needed aid.”
That’s where Marino comes in. As the face of The RV Advisor, he’s helping drum up support for relief efforts. Stetler, who started the membership-based advisory platform in 2018, said $5 of every membership purchase goes toward buying supplies as well as additional trailers.
“Everybody in South Florida, we were very lucky and we have been lucky for years,” Marino said. “So everybody should, in some way, find a way to help.”
He began working with RV Advisor in July 2019 after numerous encounters with Stetler on Miami’s charity circuit. Her history of helping cities repair their infrastructure appealed to Marino. She has helped provide shelter for Mississippi residents after Hurricane Katrina and has sent trailers to the Bahamian government since 2015.
This time, Stetler insisted on stocking the trailers with emergency items as a more direct alternative to handing them off to a third party. Aside from having the room inside the RVs, she wants to control the flow of supplies.
“Supplies don’t always get there,” Stetler said.
Although the two will do their part to ensure the trailers are filled with the essentials, others are encouraged to bring items to the dealership located at 3030 Burris Rd. in Davie.
“It’s really our duty to help our brothers and sisters whenever we can,” Stetler said. “This was a horrible disaster less than 100 miles from us here in South Florida. It easily could have been us who took the brunt of this storm.”