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Marco Island Yacht Club celebrates its 20th anniversary

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The Marco Island Yacht Club kicked off its 20th Anniversary season as a member-owned club by holding a “Cheers to 20 Years” dinner event on Saturday, Nov. 7.

 Over 100 members attended, including many of whom were members of the club when it was founded two decades ago. The event was organized by Angela and Jon Holt, co-chairs of the member events committee.

To celebrate the occasion, a special Marco Island Yacht Club song and video was introduced by members Jim and Jan Rich; and Tom Wentworth, who wrote and sang the lyrics set to the music of the Love Boat.

In his welcoming remarks, Dave Everitt, chairman of the Yacht Club board of directors, said “Twenty years ago, the founders described their vision of the Marco Island Yacht Club as a place for Marco Island boaters to gather and share friendship and boating experiences in a world class facility. That vision has certainly defined the Club from the first day through today.”

Everitt acknowledged the charter members and those who were general members at the onset of the member-owned club; the past chairmen; the new General Manager Joseph Ceci, Chef Bob Aylwin and Pam Dorr, Dining Manager. Staff members were also commended.  A special bouquet of flowers was presented to Elaine Chisenall who has greeted every member for the past two decades as receptionist and hostess.

Commodore Ray Rosenberg introduced Past Commodores in attendance. Don Mills, who served as the first Commodore of the Yacht Club, was presented with a special appreciation plaque.

Music for the evening was provided by the Michael Nardi Trio and vocalist Rick Townsend.

Alan Sandlin, a founding Charter Member of the Club, gave a presentation on the history of the Club including photos from the Marco Island Historical Society and from the members of MIYC. Although the Yacht Club as we know it today was founded 20 years ago, its roots go all the way back to the late 1960s, when a small, one story wooden clubhouse was built on the site now occupied by the Club. Sailing had been a big focus with many activities you could watch from the lanai.  However, in the 1980s the wooden clubhouse burned to the ground.

Eventually the site was purchased by builder Jack Antaramian. He completed the current Clubhouse in 1997 and established the old Marco Island Yacht and Sailing Club. In 2001, he put the word out that he intended to sell the Club, and a group of interested boaters very quickly put together a consortium to purchase it. Mills, who helped to organize the effort and was the Yacht Club’s first Commodore, told the attendees that “Jack Antaramian was a tough negotiator.  He didn’t think we could raise the money.  We proved him wrong and within 60 days we had 200 equity members and we closed the deal.”

The theme of the Cheers to 20 Years event was “Welcome Aboard.” Members of the Bridge, former Commodore MA Harlacker and Commodore Ray Rosenberg, stood on the red carpet and greeted each member ‘coming aboard’ for the night’s activities.

The décor of the evening was provided by the Member Events decorating committee with Alice Jobe at the helm and Ellie Everitt, Linda and Jim Marr, Carri Kendall, Russell Doeringer and Cara DuBay. Photos and memorabilia including newsletters, a wine bottle, a cookbook and myriads of photos were displayed for the members to reminisce.

Linda Marr was the roving photographer for the evening.  Henry Stanley organized the photo booth with the help of Patti Cohen and Russell Doeringer. 

Cheers to Twenty Years was the Welcome Back event for the Marco Island Yacht club members and a great kick-off to the next twenty years.

For more information on events and membership opportunities call the Marco Island Yacht Club at 239-394-0199 ext. 303 or visit marcoislandyachtclub.net