Introduced in 2007, the Monarch School Fun Sails Program starts each September when SDYC Junior Sailors gather their boats and host 20 Monarch School elementary and middle school children on three consecutive Fridays. The children are taught basics of sailing while experiencing the fun of sailboat racing in La Playa Cove followed by swimming and poolside snacks. In 2009, SDYC expanded Monarch School Program by offering two five- week beginner Spring sailing sessions open to 12 Monarch School elementary and middle school children per session. This expansion provides an opportunity for 24 children to participate in the program. Classes are funded by SDYC Sailing Foundation and summer scholarships are granted to individual children who demonstrate a passion for sailing. In 2013, SDYC added the Monarch School High School Leadership Reward Sail and now hosts 10-15 high school students three times a year for a special sail or power boat experience. Monarch School, located in downtown San Diego, provides accredited education to homeless and low income children while caring for their basic needs such as healthcare, food, clothing and personal hygiene.
See www.monarchschools.org for more information about the Monarch School.
In recognition of our nation's service members, SDYC members initiated this program in 2005. Since then the program has grown into a San Diego Yacht Club tradition. Each Wednesday during the summer SDYC hosts 12 to 16 service members and their families from all branches of the military. The Armed Services YMCA, in coordination with the hospital staff, recruit the participants. Some are recuperating from traumatic brain injuries and/or post traumatic stress. Service members receive an SDYC ball cap and a special thank you card. Additionally, Club members have provided other gifts anonymously. Military guests who are ambulatory board member boats, while others who are severely injured or disabled are assisted aboard for an evening cruise on San Diego Bay. No military member is ever left on shore.
Upon returning to the Clubhouse, SDYC members greet them with a hearty round of applause. Their dinner tables are under our giant American Flag. Our military guests are treated to a great barbecue dinner and live music. Many SDYC members dine with them and others stop by to shake their hands, pat them on the back and sincerely thank them for their service. It is a very special evening for our military guests and a genuine honor for SDYC members.
The staff at the hospital has advised that these afternoon cruises and dinner have made a difference in the recovery of these patients. The time away from the hospital, the chance to have conversation with people who just want to talk with them about whatever subject they choose, is helpful in their recovery and ultimately their transition out of a medical environment. SDYC members sign up early to return each summer as host boat.
Annual Blood Drive in conjunction with the San Diego Blood Bank. Open to members and the local community.
Founded in 1996 by member Troy Sears, the SDYC SAILFEST Regatta partners with Rady Children’s Hospital oncology (www.rchsd.org) to give young patients with life threatening illnesses a chance to share a fun day on the water followed by a barbeque back at the Club. Thanks to the generosity of club members who volunteer their boats and time, SAILFEST extends invitations to over 60 families from Children’s Hospital and Balboa Naval Medical Hospital. Every year in early September more than 50 SDYC skippers and their crews gather to take our young guests and their families on bay cruises. The children and their families then enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs, pony rides, face painting, crafts, and tours of a harbor patrol boat, fire engine and police patrol car. These and other fun activities take place back at the Club house. In 2006 the SDYC Board of Directors named the event The Sandy Letzring SAILFEST Regatta in memory of Sandy Letzring.
Holiday Helping Hand offers a special financial gift to military families during the Holidays, a time of the year when it is most necessary and helpful. Over the last 10 years, SDYC members have donated nearly $350K to hundreds of military families, who have found themselves in need of a “Holiday Helping Hand". SDYC does not execute Operation: Holiday Helping Hand without some essential teammates. The Armed Services YMCA provides invaluable screening of military families. And, through the helpful assistance of the Point Loma Rotary Club, the donations are deposited in an interest bearing, 501c3 endowment fund account, and processed for distribution to the families just prior to the Ceremony in early December.
Military families are hosted at SDYC for coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies. The Commodore thanks the families for their service and sacrifice, and then SDYC members hand each family an envelope with cash… a lot of cash. When the envelopes are opened the smiles begin to glow and the tears begin to flow. Next the hugging and laughing commence and the conversations turn to Christmas gifts to be purchased and bills to be paid. Many military families have indicated we have made the difference between having a Christmas and not having a Christmas.
We are proud that every penny collected by OHHH goes directly to the military families it was intended for.
The generosity of the SDYC members is freely given with no thought of recognition or obligation. Wonderfully, some military families have kept in touch with their SDYC family.
An Annual program taught by the USCG Auxiliary, to prepare boaters who are not usually the Skipper of the boat, to safely run the vessel and return safely. Training includes safety equipment, communications equipment, basic emergency first aid.
SDYC Sea Scout Ship 1886 is all about youth leadership development. Coed and youth led, the goal is to have fun and experience new adventures. Sea Scouts have the opportunity to practice, and then teach to others, maritime skills underway on both power and sailing vessels. Activities include instruction in, and supervised practical application of maritime skills, as well as opportunities for rewarding individual initiative through recognition and advancement. Ship 1886 is open to both SDYC members as well as youth from the community. Sea Scout maritime skills include navigation, rules of the road, marlinspike seamanship, and boat maintenance. In addition to leadership, the youth excel in professional conduct, trust and the other values that Scouting has come to represent over the past 100 years. It is available to youth from the 8th Grade to age 20.