Past Chairman Peter Wenzler assists SSA sailor Wyatt Utter; Seventh grade field trip/Alliance for the Great Lakes

Thursday, 18 May 2017


Michael Sanchirio, one of SSA’s sailors who now races on a regular basis, has been invited to race as part of Autism on the Water in Edinburgh Scotland and has become a mentor to other sailors. “Having the experience of sailing has been something that has changed my life exponentially,” he said. “I never realized how much the experience would influence so many other aspects of my life. It has not only become a true passion of mine, it has also led me to several job opportunities. I see similar futures for a number of the sailors that have joined the program since me."

On behalf of the 2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race organizers and competitors, a donation of $1,500 will be presented to SSA at the organization’s annual luncheon in Port Huron, Friday, July 21. (Funds raised by Set Sail for Autism benefit the Judson Center Autism Connections.)

Race Chair Tricia Smotherman says an effort also is underway to recruit boat owners to provide the opportunity for young autistic adults and their chaperones to help deliver boats back to Port Huron from Mackinac Island after the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

“We’ve been supporting SSA for five years,” said Smotherman. “It’s important for sailors to give back, and we see this as a great opportunity to share the sailing experience in a managed environment. We’re also delighted to add our support of Alliance for the Great Lakes this year. This is a new partnership for us.” 

Smotherman explained that while there are many groups focused on the oceans, such as Sailors for the Sea, her group wanted to focus similar efforts on the Great Lakes. “After doing research and consulting with Bell’s Brewery President and Founder Larry Bell, who is acutely aware of fresh water issues, we decided to support the Alliance for the Great Lakes.”

Headquartered in Chicago, the Alliance for the Great Lakes has staff located across the Great Lakes region and in offices in Muskegon and Detroit, Michigan. The organization supports tens of thousands of people to protect the lakes across the region; partners with local leaders to restore land and protect clean water for communities; and advocates for policies that restore the lakes for all and protect them from lasting harm.

Smotherman said $1,500 also will be donate to Alliance for the Great Lakes on behalf of the 2017 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.

Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Quicklinks:

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More About Bayview Yacht Club

Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest.  Located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair, it has been hosting the Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925 and has more than 1,000 members.  For more information: www.byc.com.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 May 2017 )