It is my honor to welcome you to the 91st year of the St. Francis Yacht Club. This year is all about camaraderie and reuniting the membership around our shared passion for yachting, sailboat racing and lasting friendships. I hope you’ll join me in embracing our Club.
Our Club has always been a fun place where generations have felt at home. It’s a place for a cold beer after a long day of work, or preferably, sailing! It’s a welcoming atmosphere filled with joyful moments. It’s over-indulgence at the Sunday evening buffet and high-energy table talk in the Grill Room with family and friends. Speaking of the Grill Room—that’s the only place I have ever been that you can walk in by yourself and instantly find a welcoming smile from the staff, a place to sit and another person there for the same reason: camaraderie.
Whenever I am at the Club, I meet a new member or find out something surprising about a fellow member I have known for a while. While the moniker is tied to Tinsley Island, it is also true that, In All the World There’s Only One…StFYC. Nowhere else may we cross paths with such a wide range of interesting, accomplished and sincere people. We have many cherished members who joined our Club over 50 years ago, and they deserve our gratitude and respect for passing along the history and traditions we hold dear to this day. At the other end of this spectrum are our Junior Members, the youngest of whom are just 10 years old. These members represent our future and we are committed to embedding in them our traditions, just as they were embedded in each of us.
I have a particularly fond memory that epitomizes our Club’s intergenerational camaraderie from when I served on the Membership Committee in 2010. Under the leadership of then-Membership Committee Chairman, Bob Hanelt (1968), I interviewed all prospective Junior members. During that time, the number of junior applicants surged—14 new applicants in a single month, and we joked that it was “raining juniors”. The endearing stories of their adorable interviews made my role enviable. One memorable applicant was Carolyne Ikeda (2010). Her application was faxed to the Club by her enthusiastic and proud grandfather, Ed Dollard (1958) on the evening before her 10th birthday. Despite her youth and nervousness during the new member reception, she was perfectly poised and spoke with grace, eloquence and assertiveness. She won everyone’s heart. Her sister, Catherine Ikeda (2015), subsequently joined. I recently saw her and her grandfather in the Grill Room. The girls are now dynamic teenagers and avid sailors, making their grandfather prouder than ever.
I have been and continue to be passionate about our Club. The past several months have been challenging. For all of us. I recognize this reality. However, I believe that now is the time to move beyond the past, renew friendships, and look forward. I hope you agree. Our Club is such a special place, and I hope you share with me a desire to build on our amazing heritage and set the stage for an even greater future, with more friendships and heart-felt connections. I invite you to make the most of your membership this year and share your enthusiasm for your Club and care for one other as we move forward.
I am hopeful that something in my message resonates with you. If you share my vision, how might you support it? Get involved. Offer to help set up for an event. Put bikes together for the bike drive. Volunteer for Race Committee. Go to Tinsley, even if it is just for the day. Each week, make an extra trip to the Grill Room or Clippership Bar to tell us, over a glass of wine, how we’re doing. I will likely be there. Keep an eye on the Current to see the many upcoming opportunities to volunteer. And, please feel encouraged to reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I ask you for your participation to make 2018 an incredible year of renewal and camaraderie. Put on your life jackets—let’s go sailing!