Florida Commodores Association
A message from FCA Commodore June Ann Degraw
Life on the water started very early for me. The first time out on a sailboat with my parents was in late April of 1948. Being born in November in Cleveland, Ohio, they had to wait until Lake Erie defrosted before they took me out. Bundled up in blankets, placed in a laundry basket up under the foredeck of their little 14 foot sailboat, my love of sailing began.
As a child, my family's life centered around Chagrin Lagoons Yacht Club. The summer before my 6th birthday, my sister and I were given an eight foot sailing dinghy. We soon graduated to Highlanders, Thistles, Tartan 27's and C & C 30. We raced up and down Lake Erie as a family unit. It was a glorious childhood.
Sailing continued to be the focus of my life as I furthered my sailing outside of my family. At Ohio University, I was top crew and top female sailor my freshman year. Upon returning to Lake Erie, I became the Junior Sailing Team coach at CLYC. It wasn't until I moved to Florida in 1978 that I took up power boating.
Now you know a little of my yachting background. It is time to talk about the year 2015 and the FCA. When it was obvious that I was going to move up the chairs and become Commodore of the FCA, I went to the website and read The Vision and Mission Statement of our association. They are short, but powerful. Within the words are my goals for this year.
The Vision: The Premier Florida Commodore organization dedicated to sharing knowledge, to ensure the future of Florida yachting and preserving our yachting traditions.
The Mission Statement: To establish a community of Past Commodores' who are members of recognized Florida Yacht Clubs, promoting Florida and International yachting customs and traditions through awareness, educational, charitable and social programs.
My goal for 2015 follows the guidelines of both the Vision and Mission Statements very closely. First, I wish to strengthen the Foundation both financially and in setting policies and guidelines. Second, bringing speakers to our quarterly meetings who will address existing issues and problems most clubs are facing in our current economic climate. Third, keeping our traditions and customs alive and meaningful. Fourth, share the message of the FCA around the State of Florida and thus adding to our ranks in both members and chapters.
The FCA has had a group of outstanding Past Commodores at its helm. I am both grateful and humbled to be following in the footsteps of these very competent gentlemen. Their foresight and hard work has brought the FCA to where it is today. Please join me this year as we celebrate who we are and where we are going together.