PEOPLE OF INTEREST
LENNART SCHELIN SR.
Lives in: Fort Pierce, North
Occupation: Retired firefighter
Family: Wife, Tobi; son, Ryan;
and granddaughter, Serenity
Education: Fort Pierce Central
High School, Class of 1977;
associate degree in fire science from
Indian River State College
Who inspires me: “My grandfather, who was a charter boat
captain. He had a lot of life in him and taught me that life is
more important than money.”
Something most people don’t know about me: A fan of
Drambuie, Schelin wasn’t a fan of the price. He perfected his
own recipe, bottled as Simply Grand Signature Liqueur.
“We’re always busy with projects at home,” Tobi says. “The
only time I see Lenny relax is when we’re on the boat.”
Projects range from helping woodcarver friend Randy Ard
to renovating his kitchen and dock. Since 2018, one special
project could not be any nearer and dearer to his heart: fundraising
for cancer research.
Schelin’s oldest son, Lenny Jr., was a world-class fisherman,
a mate on the Lo Que Sea, when he began suffering from
chronic headaches. He frequently stubbed a toe. His hands
suddenly contorted. A CT scan revealed an egg-sized tumor.
Surgery at the University of Miami was successful but as
Schelin explains, “The cancer acts likes seeds, spreading to
other parts of the brain.”
Lenny Jr. died July 28, 2018, at the age of 33 of glioblastoma,
a rare brain cancer. The Lo Que Sea’s owner, Tony Huerta,
wanted to do something to help. The family wanted to
promote awareness and find a cure. The perfect way to keep
Lenny Jr.’s legacy alive soon took shape.
The Lenny Schelin Jr. Memorial Tournament to Benefit
Glioblastoma Research was Huerta’s idea, says Schelin, but
many people are involved. Lenny Jr.’s mother, Debbie Johnston,
and Donna Qvarnstrom, owner of Cobb’s Landing and
Little Jim Bait & Tackle, are also on the tournament foundation’s
The first tournament raised $28,000 for the University of
Miami. The second benefited Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Research
and Innovation Center in Tradition with $40,000.
“It feels good to be part of donating money for research in
our area,” Tobi says.
The 3rd Annual Lenny Schelin, Jr. Memorial Tournament
will be Jan. 1-10, 2021, with sailfish and meat fish competitions.
New this year is a one-day women’s division. Corporate
sponsors cover tournament costs; half of the entry fees
go to winners, the other half to research. Donations, auctions
and raffles also directly fund research. For more information,
As a boy of 12, Schelin didn’t want to move to the area, but
in the last half-century, he’s left his mark on the Treasure Coast,
not only through his work and service, but also by raising sons
to love the water, to love family and to make a difference.
Lenny Schelin Sr. and his wife, Tobi, recently spent six months traveling the East Coast aboard their 50-foot boat, Simply Grand. He says the couple’s two
rescue dogs, Albert and Bindi, are now professional manatee and dolphin hunters.