By out-going Commodore Marc Danner
At the close of the 2020 Spring Series, COVID-19 halted the AYC, as it had with the rest of the world, cutting short our season. It was a difficult year for all, with some more personally affected than others. We lost five amazing club members to either COVID-19 or to an untimely death. I personally lost my amazing mother-in-law – the ‘Grammy’ to my two kids. She was a pioneer for women river runners on the Colorado River, and was, in fact, only the third woman to run her own boat the full 280 miles down river.
Despite the loss and hardship, the AYC Board of Directors remained committed to the continuation of sailing and sailing-related activities, taking into consideration both COVID-19 precautions, and society’s ‘new normal’. Jeff Coulter safely continued our club racing at both Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake, with a total of 499 races completed! Masks were required at the docks, as well as on the committee boats. Bob Naylor held monthly events via Zoom (gotta love the virtual world), while in-person venues were closed. Rob Gibbs organized a paired-down one-day Birthday Regatta, and AYC raised just under $28,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Dave Henning and Skip Kepff expanded our membership to 270 members and rolled out a new member Navigator program. The board created a mission statement, intended to help future Commodores guide the yacht club to even more success. Tony Chapman was diligent in keeping the club in good financial standing, while Jeff Bryant maintained accurate records of each board meeting, keeping the board well on track with the goals it set out to accomplish. Unfortunately, due (again) to COVID-19, Sharon Bell was unable to organize those cruising activities that allowed club members to socialize in-person, both on and off the water. Deb Heisler kept the club informed, and the website up to date with all that was offered during this most recent sailing season.
I want to thank my wife Stacee, for keeping the ‘home fires burning’ with our children Myles and Avery, so that I could focus the time and energy needed for the club during this past year. She is truly an amazing wife and mother! Finally, as we move into the 2021-2022 sailing season, you will continue to see The Danners’ on the water, as well as participating in the different events the AYC has to offer! It has been my great pleasure serving the AYC membership over the past three years, this last as your Commodore. I wish the new board all the best. I now end my time with a quote, to paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, that I feel truly describes the sport of sailing at its best, and has always been close to my heart.
“Sail confidently in the direction of your dreams”.