Hobie Sailor of the Month - September, 2012Kate Neubauer
Last month, the Lake Champlain Community Sailing (LCCSC) Center in Vermont hosted their first “AARP Day on the Lake” event. The idea spawned from a conversation involving LCCSC Executive Director, Kate Neubauer, and AARP Vermont Executive Director, Greg Marchildon. AARP Vermont wanted to create an event to engage their local members, and the LCCSC is always looking for ways to increase their connection to the adult population. It turned out to be a win-win for both organizations.
Kate and number of volunteers from the LCCSC organized this event by setting up various sailing and paddling experiences for the participants throughout the day. Members could sign up for guided keelboat sailing, canoes or kayaks, paddleboarding clinics, and small boat sailing. The LCCSC originally expected about 100 attendants, but the response to the event was overwhelming, and AARP had to close down registration a week early due to the number of RSVPs. Over 300 participants got out on the water, which was their full capacity. An 86 year old participating AARP member had lived in Chittenden County her whole life, and took her very first sailing trip at this event.
“I think this event demonstrates why community sailing centers are so vital,” said Kate. “We are giving people opportunities to experience the wonderful sport of sailing that they otherwise would not have.”
AARP Vermont was ecstatic with the turnout. In a letter addressed to Kate, Marchildon proudly stated, “The event was the single best AARP member event I have been part of. There are not enough superlatives in the English language to tell you how impressed I was with your entire team. I talked to hundreds of my members as they came off your keelboat trips, SUP’s, kayaks and canoes. Every single one of them had huge smiles on their faces and talked about how amazing the Center is and how incredibly professional and fun your staff was. You have obviously put great energy and thought into what it takes to train your team in this arena, and it has paid off in spades.”
The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center is a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage and celebrate the responsible use and long term stewardship of Lake Champlain by fostering educational and recreational opportunities for all members of our community. Learn more about the LCCSC at http://communitysailingcenter.org/.