From merchant ships to casual races to leisurely days on the Lake with family and friends, Chicago has a notable history of nautical activity made possible the eastside access to Lake Michigan. The Chicago Yacht Club (CYC) stands at the pinnacle of our nautical history, having opened it ships and docks to both first-time and expert sailors for over 140 years. This August, the CYC thoughtfully welcomed back SOS Children’s Villages Illinois to its marina for educational fun, a shared meal, and an opportunity to enjoy a couple hours on the Lake with some of the Club’s best captains. We are grateful for our partnership and the lifelong memories that were created for the youth in our Villages and communities.
Family Dinner and Sailing Adventure
On August 6, 2019, over two dozen SOS Illinois children, teenagers, Foster Parents, staff, and Associate Board Members were welcomed with open arms aboard sailboats owned and operated by members of the Chicago Yacht Club. Committed to preserving and investing in the legacy of Chicago’s sailors, the experienced captain’s shared in the excitement as many of our youth embarked on their first adventures into the waves of Lake Michigan.
Prior to strapping up in life vests, our community shared dinner with captains and volunteers from the CYC, generously hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation. Together, we dined on grilled summer treats, snacks, and cookies, while getting acquainted with one another and learning about CYC’s commitment to educating children across Chicago on the art of sailing. Captain’s shared about the history of their experience with sailing, the interesting stories behind the names of their ships, and why they wanted to be involved with this special sailing day. Several of the children, who had the opportunity to sail with the CYC at last year’s event, caught up with last year’s captains on activities in school, summer break, and what they loved most about their previous experience on the lake.
When dinner came to an end, CYC captains and volunteers helped the children and adults properly suit up in their life jackets, and offered additional safety information to follow before getting aboard a ship. While on board, the children, accompanying Foster Parents, staff, and Associate Board Members learned about different components of sailing, navigation, weather patterns, and boating mechanisms. While enjoying the cool breeze of the lake, the children on board were able to see the ways that science and mathematics merge in order to create an expert sailor, and how learning how to sail can further influence individuals on wanting to learn more about environmental science, geometry, physics, and more.
Before disembarking, captains offered the chance for youth to ask any final questions about sailing, and took time to complement each child for the safety demonstrated on board, and their newfound interest in the sailing history and activities on Lake Michigan. The children in our care gleefully spoke about their experience following the event, sharing that they cannot wait for another opportunity to hit the lake again with their new friends at the Chicago Yacht Club.
We offer our tremendous gratitude for the Chicago Yacht Club, the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation, and every sailor who took the time and energy to help create the next generation of captains on Chicago’s waterfront!
The Upcoming Chicago Regatta – September 14, 2019
In addition to offering the exciting sailing day to our children and families, the Chicago Yacht Club is continuing its generous support of our mission through fundraising. For a third year, SOS Illinois is one of three charity partners for the Chicago Regatta, presented by Wintrust and hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club.
According to the official Chicago Regatta website, “The Chicago Regatta is focused on raising funds for kids. Three Chicagoland charities devoted solely to helping kids; the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, and the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation will all benefit from this wonderful event.
The Chicago Regatta presented by Wintrust and hosted by Chicago Yacht Club, offers something for everyone! Buoy racing and a 15 – 25 mile distance race for true competitors, a casual race for cruising boats, a fast and fun poker run for power boats, and a Dragon Force 65 Regatta taking place immediately following the race events.
Racers, power boaters and landlubbers alike are invited to the Sweet Home Chicago Dock Party at Chicago Yacht Club’s Monroe Station immediately following the races. Indulge in the Chicago-famous foods that will be served throughout the evening and make sure to place your bids at the silent auction. Then dance the night away on the club’s patio with the sounds of Blues, R&B and Soul by the Sons of Chicago. This is a party you will want to be a part of!”
Representatives from SOS Illinois are excited to greet guests at the Regatta on September 14 at our mission table, inviting new friends and supporters to learn about our unique focus on sibling foster care and preventative services in the Chicagoland area. We look forward to seeing you there!