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Idea Fair

Wounded Veteran Program

Winner

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

Wounded veteran heroes, as honored guests, returned to our Club’s campus this summer. A smaller, pandemic-friendly, interim program, aimed at continuing our support for the wounded veteran community, was offered to substitute for the Club’s very popular annual Wounded Veterans Regatta. From 2016 until 2019, BHYC invited wounded veterans and their families, caregivers, and friends to take part in its Wounded Veterans Regatta - one day of “lite” sail racing aboard Barnegat Bay’s majestic, historic A Cats on the Metedeconk River, followed by a festive BBQ lunch, and awards at the club.

The pandemic forced the suspension of the Wounded Veterans Regatta in 2020, and again in 2021. However, recognizing the desirability of the Club’s support to the wounded veterans’ community, a condensed program of member volunteered private sailing lessons, sail outings, or powerboat outings was offered this year to these selfless patriots.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

A dozen wounded veterans, along with their family members or friends, joined BHYC members throughout July and August for these outings! The Wounded Veteran Regatta Committee members all played key roles in ensuring this year’s program went off flawlessly.

After the morning of sailing or powerboating, veterans were invited to the Club’s dining facility to enjoy lunch with whom they sailed or boated. This program was very well received by the membership and many members offered to volunteer their time and their boats. The program was similarly received by the veterans, many of which scheduled time with the same volunteer for another lesson!

About the author

Holly Bilotti

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