Debbi Fincher writes in support of the Youth Sailing Club…
The annual San Juan Island Sailing Foundation Fundraiser which supports our Youth Sailing Programs – both Island Rec Summer Sailing classes on Percich Pond and Teen Sailing Team out on the water at Jackson’s Beach – is coming up on May 4th at the SJI Yacht Club.
The SJISF has been offering an affordable sailing program to island youth for over 25 years now, with the generous support of our community and those that frequent the SJI Islands. This year, we also made a social media platform to help our outreach to those that know the value of such a program for young kids. Sailing is a sport that can take you places 🙂 Paying it forward to the next generation is always a win-win.
Our Social Media Campaign Link is SJI Youth Sailing. If you can’t make our Dinner and Auction Event in May, you can still show support of island youth learning how to sail. After all, we do live on an island! Learning to sail builds confidence, determination, and character, all skills which will carry over into adulthood.
I’m guessing most of us on the island have seen these boats out on the water at one time or another on Percich Pond in the summer or out at Jackson’s Beach starting in February! Can you imagine the teens that brave the elements and suit up to get out on the water in the Pacific Northwest winter! This speaks to the character and determination they build in this program.
Our annual fundraising needs are about $15,000 as the SJI Sailing Foundation provides, stores and cares for all the boats and dollies, provides basic gear for the team members, as well as a floating dock and safety boats. The all-volunteer board works diligently to keep the costs down by engaging the help of the sailors and their parents for various tasks. It’s a team effort to keep this program afloat. The only paid position is a seasonal part-time coach, who helps teach the skills of sailing at all levels.
Our fundraiser also helps support scholarships for those families in need. Each sailor is asked to pay $200 for the season, but as you may know, the cost per sailor is put closer to $1200 a season. We know this would be cost prohibitive for most island families, so by pulling together, the Foundation has been successful in keeping youth sailing affordable for all island families! We also see the benefit of getting kids outside and enjoying the world around them:) Thank you for your support and sharing this information with others.
Debbi (sailing parent volunteer:)