GPYC boating festival benefits junior sailors across the area

Want to help a great cause of advancing youth sailing in the area? Come on down to the Great Lakes Boating Festival at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Friday through Sunday this weekend.

The festival is free and open to the public. There will be about 70 boats on display, most in the water, plus antique boats and cars, raffles. There will also be a Dossin Museum display, an Edsel & Eleanor Ford House display, jet skis and water toys.

And, it includes what every sailor likes — a party on Friday night. Yes, the party is free and open to the public as well.

It’s all for a good cause, the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation, said Jim Morrow, foundation president and a past GPYC commodore. The foundation is a GPYC organization, but the goal is to promote youth sailing across the DRYA area, not just at GPYC.

“As a yacht club, you’ve got to be a member to participate in our sailing programs,” Morrow said. “The foundation’s focus is on a community scale.

The foundation enhances junior sailing on multiple levels. It provides sponsorship for the Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South sailing teams.

On Sunday, they are giving out 10 $1,500 scholarships. Winners must be junior sailors from any club and submit and essay. They are then qualified through other areas such as academics and leadership.

They also sponsor Challenge the Wind, which provides scholarships to six inner city children and youths to learn to sail at in a DRYA club junior sailing program. This year’s scholarship recipients will be learning to sail at the Little Club.

And the foundation is sponsoring a group called DART, the Detroit Advanced Racing Team. This includes a team of the 14 or 15 best junior sailors in the area, and sponsors this team at US Sailing events over the summer. Last weekend four DART team members were competing in Miami.

The foundation expects to gross about $250,000 from this weekends events. The money comes from vendor fees for the boats on display. There will also be three raffles on Sunday; one each for a Boston Whaler and trailer, a Rolex watch and a Cadillac.

It’s all for a great cause, so stop by the festival.

For more on the festival, go to greatlakesboatingfestival.com

For more on the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Foundation, go to gpynef.org

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