May 1, 2017:
The City of Annapolis recently contacted Past Commodore Jack Morkan to ask if a group of EYCers could meet with the Mayor of Niteroi and his staff. Niteroi is Brazil’s equivalent of Annapolis with a very large sailing community and the location of Brazil’s naval academy. The two cities would like to establish a “sister city” relationship.
The City of Annapolis wanted EYC to talk about our club operations and relationship with the EYC Foundation and Box Of Rain, and for those organizations to talk about their programs. As is typical of EYC, not completely understanding the full picture, all immediately said, “YES! Count us in!” (Speaking of pictures, find them on our Facebook page!)
On Saturday, April 22, we all gathered at EYC around noon, introductions were made, beverages secured, and the conversation took off without a hitch, despite the need for translation because not all in the group from Brazil spoke English and not a one of us spoke any Portuguese!
The conversation centered around maritime-based education programs, economic development of maritime industries, water-quality and environmental issues, and the desire to establish a cultural exchange between the cities. Our guests were particularly interested in learning about the EYC Foundation’s STEM program and maritime career fair, and the Box of Rain programs that develop long-term relationships with the students they serve—and the fact that in both programs we use our love of the water to serve the youth in need in our area.
I was so proud to have EYC, EYC Foundation, and Box of Rain, which 15 years ago originated in the EYC Foundation, recognized by the City of Annapolis as trailblazing organizations creating model programs that are working to create positive solutions in the city. All were basically aware of the positive programs, but all were super impressed with the incredible growth of the programs, the dedication of the volunteers, and the support and crossover amongst the programs. So, so proud!
Further, as an out growth of this meeting, EYC is being looked to be a leader in the sister city program with Niteroi. There is talk of the Commodores from the city’s NINE yacht clubs coming to Annapolis in October. They want them see the boat show, hear about the EYC Foundation and Box of Rain programs, and discuss yacht club community outreach. I have no doubt there will also be discussions about water quality improvement, as there was at this meeting. Of course, there is also talk of some friendly competition on the water!
Why is Niteroi’s Mayor so interested in Annapolis and desires to be our sister city? Surprisingly, Niteroi completely lacks any maritime industries despite the large boating community. Boaters must take their vessels great distances to another city for all repairs and work. Niteroi’s Mayor desires the city’s yacht clubs to establish a maritime industry, to build maritime industry education programs, and engage the city’s population in need in job training and jobs.
So why am I telling you all this?
For me, Saturday was one of those days that brought home what an amazing club we have. That we as a club are visionary, dedicated, open-minded and open-hearted, fun-loving, and always game to get on the water. We cooperate and support other organizations, and do incredible good work for our community at large. We didn’t even talk about our work with Leukemia Cup, CRAB, Fish4ACure, or the other good works we do. However, at the center of it all is our love of the water, boating, and having a good time—our core values.
Also, if your passport is not up to date, now is the time to take care of that! We have been invited to Niteroi for Carnival in February, for additional meetings, and a regatta—“a friendly competition between yacht clubs,” the Mayor said to me with a smile.
Speaking of regattas—it is time to go racing and get on the water ourselves!
Friday Beer Cans start on May 12. The Elf Classic, with all kinds of gorgeous boats, starts from EYC on Saturday, May 13. The same day, the EYC 2 vs 2 Team Race Championship will be in sight of the club.
The Cruisers are headed to Wye Island on Memorial Day Weekend for their spectacularly fun rendezvous. All are invited to swing by via boat or land yacht for the fun and games.
Please be sure to welcome and introduce yourselves to Glen Looney, our new Assistant General Manager. I chuckle every time about EYC literally having a real loony to go along with the rest of the loonies!
Mark your calendars for a weekend of quintessential EYC parties, May 20 and May 21. Saturday is the Commodore’s Reception Celebrating Maryland and the Preakness. Don your best hat and spring attire for the evening. May 21 we will embrace our homeland, Eastport, with the showing of the new Eastport 21403 movie and the Eastport Oyster Boys rocking the dock.
We have an amazing club. Enjoy it! Get on the water, come down for a party, volunteer with the STEM program, or start fundraising for Leukemia Cup. There is something for everyone!
See you at the club!