Since its creation, the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation has remained dedicated to its mission: to promote sailing, education, competition and safety.
A review of the accomplishments of the 2016 and a look into the plans for 2017 reflect the Foundation’s consistent focus on those four key objectives and the initiatives to achieve them.
Based on results to date, the Foundation’s focus is meeting with success. The fact that participation in Varsity sailing programs is growing at area High Schools that receive Foundation support is one measure of success. Another is the area high school that hosted two significant Regional sailing competitions at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, enabled by Foundation support.
Young student-sailors from the Detroit-area were able to enter major regattas because of a Foundation grant, developing world-class sailing skills and achieving success in those International events
And the ten young student — sailors who were scholarship recipients are success stories unto themselves — enthusiastic examples of the Foundation’s contribution to the growth and success of young student-sailors.
2016 was another successful year for the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation.
The Foundation takes pride in the growth of junior sailing in Michigan, the fastest growing high school sport in the state. Close to home, University Liggett School now joins Grosse Pointe North and South high schools in varsity high school sailing competition.
The Foundation works closely with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club to provide a “home base” for the high schools sailing teams, that use Club facilities for practice and regattas, Spring and Fall.
GPYNEF financial grants support teams and individual sailors with equipment, maintenance, travel and regatta expenses helping high school sailors develop their skills and hone their competitive edge.
College scholarship applications continue to grow. For 2016, eleven $1,500 scholarships were awarded to area student/sailors, based on academic and sailing accomplishments. Thankfully, the number of funded perpetual scholarships has grown to eight.
Funding for Challenge the Wind, Sailing for Autism and seeding for the Pontiac Sailing Foundation are examples of the GPYNEF’s impact throughout the area sailing community.
On the water (and in classroom sessions), GPYNEF-hosted training included nationally recognized sailing instructor Dave Perry. A regional qualifier for the Mallory Cup, high school sailing’s oldest trophy, event was held at GPYC in May. The Foundation also sponsored the 2016 US Sailing Junior Olympic Festival, attracting sailors from throughout the Midwest. The competitive season closed with the MISSA’s High School State Championships at the GPYC in October.
The momentum generated by the success of the 2016 programs provides the basis for the Foundation’s 2017 plans.
Consistent with its mission, the Foundation’s support will be directed to programs proven to bring young people in to the sport of sailing, helping them grow as sailors and students.
Planned investments include continued funding for High School Junior Sailing programs; providing opportunities for training and coaching and offering 50% cost reimbursement for equipment or travel to competitive events. Those high school programs, along with the Foundation’s Scholarship initiative, represent the bedrock of the Foundation’s annual efforts. At least ten $1,500 college scholarships to be awarded to students in 2017, with eight of those now funded by Perpetual Scholarship donors.
Continued support for the successful “Challenge the Wind” program at the Grayhaven Sail Club includes plans to donate Optimist prams to enhance their sailing program, particularly among the youngest junior sailors.
Sponsorship of the USODA Great Lakes Championship for Optis on June 23–25 is in place, and support of the US Sailing Junior Olympic Festival in September is planned.
Finally, as in previous years, individual grants supporting specific sailings events, teams or individual participants will be evaluated and funded as deemed appropriate throughout the year. The coming year represents an ambitious program. And once again, the Foundation looks to its community for support. Successful fund-raising is critical to the GPYNEF’s mission, providing the wind that powers the Foundation’s sails.