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Established 1914


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Table of Contents Interview with Commodore Ilja Vreeken Royono and Manitou Heritage Committee is Formed

4-6 7-11 14


J70 Great Lakes Championship


Patrick Ahearn Lecture


Scotch and Cigars

68 69

Advertising Director Kim Towar

Welcome New Members

Art Director Stephanie Lortt

Easter 27-28

Silver Oak and Twomey Wine Tasting


Family Activity Day


Veteran’s Day Brunch


Sun Safety Presentation


Meet the Candidates


Bowling Awards Banquet


Annual Meeting


Orin Swift Wine Dinner


Member of the Year & Yachtsman of the Year

Leukemia Cup Regatta


Holiday Decorating


Mother’s Day


Tree Lighting



Holiday Boutique

Writers Past Commodore James Ramsey Claire Rundquist Dr. Larry Stephenson Anna Swartz Kelley Vreeken Aaron Wagner Photographers Erik Campos Thomas Kliber John F. Martin Michele Penoyer

Andy Sandifer Christine Semmler Aaron Wagner Brian Widdis

Grosse Pointe Yacht Club G



Established 1914

788 Lake Shore Road Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236 (313) 884-2500 FAX: (313) 884-7956

Sailing 1,400 Miles in 90 Days


Children’s Halloween Party

Back to the Club


Oktoberfest 70-71

Honoring Joe Hooge Summer Breeze Party





90th Annual Commodores Ball


Great Lakes Boating Festival


Founders Club Donors


Blessing the Fleet


Christmas Eve Dinner


New Year’s Eve


Memorial Day Weekend


Fish Fry Summer Celebration


Holiday Wine Tasting

Father’s Day Fishing Rodeo


2018 Rendezvous

Muskie Tournament for Special Olympics


Member Spotlight


Summer Regatta


Looking Aft


Women’s Night at the Gazebo Bar


Fourth of July GPYC Sailors Place in the Port Huron/Mackinac Race GPYC Sailfish

47 48-49 49

Day Camp Program Revived


Racquet Sports and Golf

51 52

Junior Sailing


Fleet Review


Auto Preview Labor Day Weekend

59 60-61

Bluenose Regatta


Breakfast with the Manager


Distinguished Club Award


Bowling Recreation Center Renovation


85 86-87


Unique Executive Team Building Experience

GPYC DRYA Regatta The Grosse Pointer (USPS 576-940) is published two times a year under contract with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Subscriptions are $75 per year to members. Periodical postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. Postmaster, send address changes to: The Grosse Pointer, 788 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236. Grosse Pointe Yacht Club ©2019—all rights reserved. This publication is the property of the GPYC, for member use only. No unauthorized use, sale or dissemination of information herein shall be made for commercial, personal or other purposes, without the written permission of the GPYC.


Grandparents Day

Cover Photo by Thomas Kliber

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Quietly In Command

As Our 86th Commodore, Ilja Vreeken Brings Dutch Pragmatism and American Entrepreneurism to the GPYC Boardroom. He Also Turns Out to be a Nice Guy, a Listener and a Level-Headed Leader. Interview by Past Com. James L. Ramsey

JR: Tell us a little about your background. Where does the Vreeken family name come from? English was not your first language, is that true? IV: Correct. I was born in the Netherlands, where my father is originally from. My mother is from Germany; they met and married shortly after World War Two. We initially immigrated to Canada, then ultimately landed here in Michigan in 1978. JR: The Dutch are legendary sailors. Was your family connected to the water? IV: Yes, indeed. My father sailed worldwide as a ship’s captain. My brothers are tied to the water as well – they’ve been boat owners for decades. JR: What about you? How long have you been a boater? IV: Most of my life. I grew up spending time on both power and sailboats. As a young man, I worked doing wire-to-rope and rope-to-wire splicing, sailboat rigging and maintaining boats of all kinds. I’ve competed in Etchell one-designs and many Bayview-to-Mackinac Races in larger boats. I currently own a 1969 Chris Craft Commander that (wife and First Lady) Kelley has spent countless hours refurbishing, and a Zodiac Pro RIB. JR: What brought you to the GPYC? IV: The Club was an aspiration of mine. I was a guest many times, and just being at the Club made me carry myself differently: the large, open spaces of the clubhouse; the beautiful artwork; the unmatched views of the water and the Old-World


Commodore Ilja and Kelley Vreeken with daughters (L-R) Kaitlyn, Skye and Pasha at the 2018 Commodores Ball

charm. It really is a special place, and I believe it elevates the cachet of the community. JR: Let’s talk about the Club. We’ve been in a big construction mode for several years now with the South Harbor, the Marine Activity Center, the new tennis and pickleball courts, the playscape, splash pad and the Bowling Recreation Center. Now we’re looking at a fitness center in the clubhouse. What can you tell us about that? IV: These are all exciting additions to the Club. The fitness facility is in response to the 2017 Member Survey that called for a practical place to exercise at the Club. The Board responded and looked at all the options that could be pursued in a financially prudent manner. Working with our architect, Michael Gordon of Moiseev-Gordon Associates, we determined that the accounting area would have plenty of room and is conveniently located near the locker rooms. The intent is to update the interior and exterior of the space to be more in line with the original architecture of the clubhouse.

strengthen us as a year-round club. And we have restructured our debt over ten years to free up monthly cash flow. We are aggressively paying down on those loans as we speak.

Irish descent, three grown daughters, two cats, one dog and am co-manager of a business that has gone through multiple recessions over 35 years. It’s pretty hard to get me frazzled.

JR: What other Club issues are foremost on your mind? IV: While membership growth and retention are always in the back of my head, we don’t want to lose focus on harbor refurbishment. We hope to make progress on this front in the near future, and we are continuing to explore federal, state and local resources for funding support. First and foremost, we want to remain a premium yacht club (“among the finest in North America”) that is consistent with our mission statement.

JR: After several months in office, what has surprised you about being Commodore? IV: I am inspired by the depth of commitment by our staff and management to the members of this Club. I am reminded not to take for granted the behind-the-scenes effort on their part that makes my job easier.

JR: What’s the hardest part of the job? IV: Avoiding taking on too many things at once. We are in a complex club environment in an everchanging world. I try to focus my expertise on JR: You are a successful business owner. Does that places where it will do the Club the most good. benefit the Club? As the saying goes, “If everything is important, IV: I had to be in a leadership role at a very early nothing is important.” age in our family-owned company. I learned JR: Do you have a favorite or funny story from that success is in the details and the people with the Club? whom you surround yourself. Operationally, IV: Several. But nothing I want memorialized in JR: These are all expensive projects. How is the my experience enables me to support our GM in print! Club doing financially? certain disciplines; such as budgeting, debt control, IV: I can report that our first-quarter operational debt restructuring and team building in line with JR: Looking down the road, what is your long-term results were positive (profitable), and that we are the Club’s strategic plan. vision for the Club? What does the Club need most cautiously optimistic about our balance sheet as to make sure it will be successful in the future? the year progresses. Previous boards courageously JR: What personal qualities do you have that we IV: Apart from strengthening our financial forged ahead with the projects you mentioned to should know about? position, which we are doing, I believe this: Boards ensure the Club’s continued success in a competitive IV: I feel a little awkward answering, but I believe I will come and go, demographics will change and club environment. The current Board and I are am a pretty good judge of people and understand club culture will evolve, so it is imperative that we committed to making sure these efforts are proven how to utilize their strengths. I believe in putting have a management and leadership culture that successful. We have done a ground-up review of all leaders in a position to lead and then getting out of is both dynamic and strategic thinking to meet budgets, CapEx needs and borrowing obligations. their way. future challenges. The GM and his team are the one At the same time, our GM, Aaron Wagner and his constant and they need to be on top of their game team have done a great job of reigning in expenses JR: You appear to have a calm and quiet at all times. demeanor. Are you that way all the time? without sacrificing service. Our committees are IV: I have two ears and one mouth; I try to use working hard to retain and attract members them in that proportion. Besides, I have a wife of while adding new revenue-generating events that



Quietly In Command Continued

JR: Outside the Club, what are your passions? What is your favorite way to relax? IV: I enjoy travel, history, playing sports, boating and working on new business opportunities. Sleeping is not a forte of mine nor is laying on a lounge chair beachside. JR: Talk about your wife, First Lady Kelley. How did you two meet? How are your kids doing? IV: Kelley and I met on the water prior to a start of a sailboat race. As she tells it, I was up at the bow reading the Wall Street Journal, but I’m not so sure about that. At the time, sailboat racing was the only thing I knew about her, and by any measurement

our relationship shouldn’t have made it any farther than the length of my then-mullet haircut. Thirtyone years later, she is still my one true love. I can also say with great pride that our three daughters -Kaitlyn, Pasha and Skye -- have become wonderful young ladies graced with Kelley’s good looks and intelligence.

JR: How would you like to be remembered as Commodore? IV: As someone who under-promised and overdelivered. I take the role of Commodore very seriously and want to uphold the high standards previous Commodores have maintained before me.

JR: Any parting observations for us? JR: Please answer the following about yourself: IV: We have a treasure in this Club, its staff and What one piece of wisdom has most impacted you? members. I have been many places in this world, IV: Success is in the details. but have yet to encounter anything as unique in geography and structure. The Board and I are JR: Your favorite book, movie, music, drink and committed to ensuring it continues to thrive for food? future generations. IV: In that order, Extreme Ownership; Saving Private Ryan; all kinds, presently Zac Brown; Dark & Stormy; Kelley’s homemade spaghetti and braided bread. JR: What brand of watch are you wearing and where do you buy most of your clothes? IV: Apple iWatch and Online. JR: Who is your greatest hero? IV: I’m not sure “hero” is the right word, but someone I admire greatly is George Washington. Tremendous leadership skills, no ego and knew when to step down.

Commodore Vreeken and his wife Kelley dancing at the 2018 Commodores Ball


JR: Of all the people in world, living or dead, who would you like to have a conversation with? IV: Dinner -- George Washington. Drinks -- Ernest Hemingway. On the water -- Capt. James Cook, if ever in battle - Col. David Hackworth. Each one was unconventional in their methods, successful in their fields and unflappable in their convictions.

The Vreeken family on a recent trip to Costa Rica Photo courtesy of Kelley Vreeken


Royono and Manitou by Larry W. Stephenson, M.D.

Recently it was discovered that Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) member John B. Ford Jr. had owned not just one, but two racing yawls with the same name, Royono III. That called into question which Royono III won the first Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Bluenose Regatta in 1939, and which one was first to cross the finish line in four consecutive Chicagoto-Mackinac races? Also in question was the identity of the Royono III in the photograph taken by renowned New York yachting photographer Morris Rosenfeld that presently hangs in the lower hallway of the Grosse Pointe Club. Searching for the answers to those questions led to the discovery of a write-up on the Chicago Yacht Club website about the Royono Trophy and its namesake, Royono III. It states that the U.S. Naval Academy acquired Royono III and subsequently made it available to President John F. Kennedy, an avid sailor who enjoyed a number of excursions

Early photograph of the 72-foot racing yawl Royono III owned by GPC member John “J.B.” Ford Jr. Photograph by Morris Rosenfeld, courtesy Mystic Seaport Museum. This photo also appears on the back cover of the book Grosse

Pointe Yacht Club, 100 Years: 1914-2014

aboard her during his term in office. Some nonauthoritative websites contained similar stories. An attempt to document those stories proved to be both futile and fruitful. Even though the Royono III stories could not be substantiated, it was revealed that during his presidency, JFK did actually sail on a racing yawl named Manitou. Some years earlier, Manitou’s homeport had been the Grosse Pointe Club.

The “Chemical Fords”

The Ford name was, and still is, well known in the Grosse Pointes. Over many years, three prominent Ford families had settled within its borders. Grosse Pointers kept track of who was who by referring to them as the “Banking Fords,” the “Automotive Fords” and the “Chemical Fords.” John Baptiste Ford was the founder of the latter dynasty. Along with his two sons Edward and Emory Low, the family amassed a fortune that included establishment and ownership in companies such as Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Huron Portland Cement Company and the Ford Glass Company in Toledo that eventually became Libby Owens Ford. They also owned a fleet of lake freighters that moved materials between these different facilities and plants. John Battice Ford Jr., great grandson of John Baptiste, was born in 1897 and known as J.B. or J.B. Junior. He followed in his family’s footsteps, eventually securing an executive position within the family business. He joined the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club around 1926. Other early GPYC members from his family included Joseph B. Schlotman and Dr. Harry N. Torrey (Mrs. Schlotman and Mrs. Torrey were daughters of Emory Low Ford). Torrey was a surgeon who owned a 50-foot motor yacht

John Battice “J.B.” Ford Jr.

Courtesy GPYC.

built by Gar Wood named Tamarack V, and the Schlotmans cruised the lake in their 187-foot motor yacht Stellaris. J.B. was an avid sailor and iceboat racer. He owned a large iceboat, Deuce III, which became a contender for the Stuart International Ice Yacht Trophy and the Hearst International Cup. He was also the owner of a series of sailboats to which he gave the name Royono.

The Royono Saga Begins

In 1929, automotive pioneer and future Detroit Yacht Club commodore (1934) Charles F. Kettering commissioned the building of a 165-foot yacht, and put his 96-foot motor yacht up for sale. Christened the Olive K, she had been built for Kettering in 1928

ð 9

Royono and Manitou Continued

at the DeFoe Shipyard in Bay City, Michigan. J.B. purchased Olive K and renamed her Royono, which is believed to be a Native American word meaning “happy home on the water.”

commodore of the Detroit Yacht Club in 1942. George renamed the boat Estrellita and won the 1943 Port Huron-to-Mackinac race with her in RacingCruising Class A, the top racing class of the time. Apparently, now that there was no longer a boat in existence with the registered name of Royono III, J.B. felt free to change the name Mandoo II to Royono III. Why he did not choose Royono IV will probably never be known.

In 1937, J.B. took possession of a racing yawl that was designed for him by premier naval architect John Alden and built at the Casey Boat Building Company in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. He named his new 38-foot yawl Royono II. That year, Royono II won the Cruising Class in the Bayview Yacht Club’s As a yachtsman, J.B. is best known for being first Port Huron-to-Mackinac Race. over the finish line four years in a row (1946-1949) in the Chicago-to-Mackinac Race with his 72-foot By 1938, J.B. had already commissioned yet another Royono III. However, to his dismay, he lost every racing yawl to be designed by John Alden. He sold one of those races on corrected time. In spite of Royono II in 1938 to Detroit Boat Club member that disappointment, he gifted a trophy, the Royono Elwyn C. Balch, who renamed her Iolanthe. (In Trophy, to the Chicago Yacht Club, which continues 1942, she won Cruising Class B in the Port Huronto be awarded annually to “The First Yacht Crossing to-Mackinac Race.) J.B.’s new 51-foot yawl was built in Detroit at the Pouliot Boat Works and named Royono III. John Alden came to town for her inaugural cruise in May 1938. This Royono III won the first GPYC Bluenose Regatta in the top Racing Cruising Class in September 1939.


An article on the history of the Port Huron-toMackinac Race appears in the 1991 yearbook of the Bayview Yacht Club, and one of the accompanying photographs is captioned “John B. Ford’s 73(sic)foot Royono III.” The photo is a reprint of the Rosenfeld photograph owned by the GPC, proving that it is indeed J.B.’s second Royono III that is pictured. (The framed Rosenfeld photograph does not have a caption on the front, but “John B. Ford Jr., Royono” is printed on the back.)


Soon after the 1949 race, doctors told J.B. that his health would not permit him to continue racing. He then donated Royono III to the U.S. Naval Academy on April 13, 1950, where it was said that 3,400 midshipmen were in attendance. The midshipmen raced the boat for several years, coming in third in the Newport-to-Bermuda Race in 1950 and taking a first in 1952. The Academy sold the boat in 1967, and since then she has had a number of owners. She has undergone two extensive renovations, the most recent performed in 2001-2003 at a cost of several million dollars. Currently, Royono III is berthed in the San Francisco Bay area.

Royono III and Royono III

In 1940, J.B. was again looking for a bigger and faster racing yawl. But this time, instead of having one built, he purchased one that already had a proven racing record. Mandoo II was 72 feet in overall length, designed by John Alden and built by Herreshoff in 1936 for a Mr. D. Spencer Berger. Mr. Berger had raced her successfully on the East Coast for at least two years and may have sold her to another owner before she was purchased by J.B. The 51-foot Royono III was subsequently sold to George A. Neumann, who would become

the Finish Line” in the Chicago-Mackinac Race.

In spite of having sold Royono III, the Naval Academy continues to award a Royono Trophy annually to the midshipman skipper of a Naval Academy yawl who has the best elapsed time in two prescribed races, back-to-back. This Morris Rosenfeld photograph of J.B. Ford Jr.’s 72-foot racing yawl Royono III is on display at the Grosse Pointe Club. It is also featured on page 276 of Grosse Pointe Yacht

Club, 100 Years: 1914-2014. Courtesy Grosse Pointe Club

As for J.B., he died at his home in Grosse Pointe Park at age 83, 32 years after doctors told him his health would no longer permit him to continue racing sailboats. His obituary reveals another

notable aspect in this yachtsman’s life. It states that he served his country in both World Wars and retired from the Navy as a commander after World War II.


As earlier stated, the Chicago Yacht Club website contains a piece written about the Royono Trophy and its namesake, Royono III. It states that the Naval Academy made Royono III available to JFK during his presidency, but the current staff of the Naval Academy Sailing Program could find no information to verify that claim. Archivists at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library were also

unable to provide supporting information. They did say, however, that while he was president, JFK sailed on a 62-foot yawl from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy named Manitou. The presidential library is correct about JFK sailing on Manitou. Also as will be explained, Manitou’s connection to the GPYC is through the Club’s late Past Commodore Frank McBride.

Five Mackinac Wins

James Rowland Lowe had a passion for sailing, holding memberships in the Grand Rapids Yacht Club, the Chicago Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club. He lived in Grand Rapids, where his family owned a foundry and also had business interests in logging and lumber in Michigan. Manitou was designed for Mr. Lowe by renowned naval architect Olin Stephens and built at the M.M.

The Rosenfeld Collection at the Mystic Seaport Museum contains this photograph of the 62-foot racing yawl Manitou. It is unclear whether the photo was taken by Morris Rosenfeld himself or by one of his three sons, Stanley, David and William Courtesy Mystic Seaport Museum

GPYC Commodore Frank P. McBride Courtesy GPYC

Davis and Son boatyard in Solomons, Maryland. She was launched in 1937 and one year later was the overall winner of the Chicago-to-Mackinac Race and the record-setting winner of the Cruising Class (on corrected time). In 1939, Manitou posted a close second in the Chicago race, followed by back-to-back wins in the Cruising Class in 1940 and 1941. She also won the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Race in the RacingCruising Class in 1939 and 1940. Ironically, in that 1991 Bayview Yacht Club yearbook there is a reference to the 62-foot Manitou being tied up right next to 72-foot Royono III following the 1941 race.

Homeport for Manitou Becomes the Grosse Pointe Club

Jim Lowe was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and sold Manitou in 1942 or 1943 to another naval officer, James H. Grove. At the time of the purchase, Jim Grove was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, on active duty, stationed at a naval facility in Detroit. The Grove family was from St. Louis, Missouri, where they owned Grove Laboratories, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. The company had been founded in 1886 by Jim’s grandfather, Edwin Wiley Grove, and its products were widely distributed nationally when it was finally sold to Bristol-Myers in 1957. Jim was in his early thirties and engaged to be married when he left St. Louis and came to Michigan. According to the Detroit phone directory for 1945, he lived in Grosse Pointe Farms at 204 Cloverly Road, perhaps eventually with his bride. The home that stands on that property today appears to be the same one in which he would have resided.



Royono and Manitou Continued

Lieutenant Grove joined the Grosse Pointe Club under the auspices of the Special Service Membership, a category made available by several private clubs (including the GPYC) to members of the military on active duty in the Detroit metro area in WWII. During the years of his membership, Manitou was docked in the GPC harbor. The late Frank McBride, former insurance executive and commodore of the GPYC in 1974, was just a freshman or sophomore at “The High” when Jim Grove hired him to clean and maintain his new boat. For Frank it was a full time summer job and an after-school job in spring and fall. In a memoir, he recalled, “I did whatever it took to keep the yacht up and ready to go.” Frank eventually worked his way up to become part of Manitou’s crew. He remembered participating in several Detroit River Yachting Association races, often being allowed to steer the boat, a high honor indeed for such a young man, although at six feet four inches tall, he may have appeared to be a bit older than he was. His most vivid memory was sailing in the infamous 1945 Port Huron-toMackinac race. Bayview Yacht Club records indicate that Jim Grove sailed that 1945 race representing the Grosse Pointe Club. Forty yachts started the race, but after battling a prolonged storm with high winds, only six crossed the finish line. Manitou came in second, but in corrected time was second in the Racing-Cruising Class and third across overall. The other five to finish were: Shamrock, Blitzen, Hostess II, Apache and Last Straw. Manitou’s canvas sails sustained heavy damage, and Frank recalled this being the time he was taught to properly sew torn canvas.


It was not long after the war ended that Jim Grove resigned his membership at the GPC, on March 1, 1946, and returned to his life in St. Louis. He sold Manitou but did continue to sail, purchasing a 56foot schooner that he maintained on the East Coast

Frank McBride’s graduation photo from Grosse Pointe High School Courtesy Jere McBride

and joining the New York Yacht Club. Manitou was sold to Ken Kroehler from Chicago, whose family owned the Kroehler Manufacturing Company, one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the country. Manitou sailed out of the GPC harbor for the last time in the early spring of 1946, with Frank aboard as part of the delivery crew. He remembered it being “… a long and cold sail, north through Lake Huron to the Straits of Mackinac, then down the length of Lake Michigan to her new berth at the Chicago Yacht Club.” Ken Kroehler continued to race Manitou in the Chicago-to-Mackinac race as well as in several other Great Lakes venues until 1955, when he

donated her to the Coast Guard. Her new homeport became New London, Connecticut, site of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In 1960, the USCG entered Manitou in the 635-mile Newport-to-Bermuda race and chose Martin J. Trieschmann as skipper for the race. Coincidentally, Martin knew of Frank McBride’s previous racing experience on Manitou because he had been Frank’s commanding officer in the 1950s aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Tamarack on the Great Lakes (Frank did six years of duty in the USCG Active Reserves). Recalling that Frank had been a very competent helmsman on the cutter, Martin asked him to be his helmsman for the race, which Frank agreed to do. The rest of the crew was made up mostly of cadets from the Academy. Frank’s final trip on Manitou took a rough turn when a storm struck just after crossing the Gulf Stream. Frank recalled handling most of the steering while other crew members fed him Oreo cookies to keep him going. John Rousmaniere, current Bermuda Race historian, describes the race as, “…the roughest Bermuda Race before 1972.” Waves were estimated at 15 feet and continued throughout the remainder of the race, causing damage to many of the participating boats. Naval Academy entry Royono III reported a man overboard, but fortunately he was rescued. Manitou finished 48th overall from a fleet of 131 starters.

JFK on Manitou

It was as a young senator in Washington that John F. Kennedy first became aware of Manitou in Annapolis, where she was probably participating in a race. Later, as president, he sent a naval aide, Captain Tazewell Shepherd Jr., to search out sailing yachts for his personal use. Manitou must have

made a very favorable impression, because when she appeared on Captain Shepherd’s list, JFK ordered her brought to the Chesapeake to be fitted out with the necessary electronic equipment for keeping in touch with his staff. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library archives show eight specific dates in 1962 that the president spent sailing on Manitou. One of those sailings occurred on August 12 while JFK was a houseguest of world heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney on Johns Island, Maine. The presidential party included his sister Pat, (Mrs. Peter Lawford); Charles F. (Chuck) Spaulding; Under Secretary of the Navy, Paul B. Fay Jr.; and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, James A. Reed. The three men were actually long-time friends of the president, Spaulding having known him since their college days. During WWII, Reed and Kennedy had both been stationed aboard the legendary PT109, and

President Kennedy was also photographed sailing Manitou on Narragansett Bay near Newport, Rhode Island. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy sits in front of her husband, seemingly engrossed in a book. Her mother, Janet Bouvier Auchincloss, sits starboard with her husband, Jackie’s stepfather, Hugh Auchincloss Jr. Photograph by Robert Knudsen Courtesy John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Archives

Fay had commanded another PT boat from the same base in the Pacific Theater. The group was transported by the USCG ship Horsewhip #2 and boarded Manitou at sea for a two-and-a-half hour sail, followed by a picnic on the west side of the island. Overhead, the Navy’s Blue Angels made two passes in a salute to their WWII naval combat veteran president.

Manitou in Europe

Acknowledgements H. Michael Marsh, M.D. for historical information regarding the Grosse Pointe Club and James Grove’s wartime membership. Captain David M. Jackson, USN Retired, currently Naval Academy Sailing Department, for providing archival information. Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Past Commodore James Ramsey for editing.

The Coast Guard Academy sold Manitou in 1968, and since then she has had a number of owners and undergone at least two extensive renovations. In 2011, she was purchased by a group of four owners and shipped to the French Riviera. As of 2013, it was known that she was being actively sailed in the Mediterranean – a rather nice place of residence for such a Grande Dame.

White House photographer Robert L. Knudsen snapped this photo of President John F. Kennedy at the helm of Manitou in Maine. The presidential party included JFK’s brother-inlaw, actor Peter Lawford, left, looking forward and wearing sunglasses. Just behind the president is his friend and fellow PT boat captain Paul Fay, Jr., Under Secretary of the Navy Courtesy John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Archives


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Why Looking Back is Thinking Ahead

Heritage Committee Is Formed By Past Commodore James L. Ramsey


he Grosse Pointe Yacht Club abounds in hard-working committees whose task is looking forward. You name it -- Finance, Facilities, Membership, Harbor -- they all strive to impact the Club’s future. Now there’s a new committee -- Heritage -- whose mission is to look back. The Heritage Committee was formed to preserve, protect, and learn from, the Club’s rich and sometimes rocky past. Above all, the Heritage Committee is dedicated to embracing the Club’s 100-plus-year history and sharing its memorable highlights with members. “Our club provenance is rich in people and events that helped shape this region in the 20th Century,” said Vice Commodore Ilja Vreeken, the committee’s first chairperson. “But the tendency is to get so caught up in the present that we ignore the forces that made us what we are. This committee is charged with bringing the past into the present and making our members aware of who and what we were.” The new committee’s charter is wide-reaching. One of its first assignments is to dot Club publications with a series of interesting historical tales that will hopefully leave members thinking, “Gee, I didn’t know that.” The Grosse Pointer magazine, The Mast, The Buzz and the Club web site will eventually carry these retro-revelations. At first the stories


will draw heavily from the GPYC Centennial History Book, but new historical information will be revealed as it is uncovered. The committee will also concern itself with the historic “look” of the Club, reviewing all plans as they relate to the decoration, restoration and enhancement of the GPYC clubhouse, harbor and grounds. The group will ensure that all such projects are compatible with the Club’s Italian Renaissance architecture and that a “yacht club aesthetic” prevails wherever appropriate. Will this mean a return to a “Roaring Twenties” style of decor? No, it will not. But we can expect This artist’s rendering of the new home of the GPYC appears on the front cover of the “Grosse Pointe Yacht Club: 100 Years: 1914-2014” book. It was drawn the Club to be consistently held two years before construction was completed in 1929. to a level of design elegance that was in place when the clubhouse The original members of the committee include opened nearly 90 years ago. Elisabeth Meda, Past Commodore James Ramsey, The committee will further strive to improve Joe Schaden, Linda Schaden, Chairman Joe facilities for the long-term preservation of the Schmitt, Past Commodore Sean Schotthoefer, Larry Club’s archives and historical treasures. A clubhouse Stephenson and Sue Vogel. Also, Past Commodore “History Walk,” that will put many of the Club’s Bill Vogel recently joined the Committee, and vintage artifacts and photographs on prominent Commodore Vreeken has been active in the display, is already in the planning stage. committee as well. Last but not least, the Heritage Committee will monitor the Club’s conformity to state and federal standards as a National Historic Site. Much work was put into achieving this prestigious status, and the committee will continue to make sure we remain in good standing with the National Register of Historic Places.

Commodore Vreeken summed it up this way: “There is an adage that says, ‘Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ In our case, we want to learn from our heritage, and make our members prouder for it.”

313.882.5299 • 97 Kercheval, GPF



New Members: March Through December 2018

Photography by John F. Martin


Rachel-Lynn & Bradley Benigni

Jose & Katia Oxholm


Diann Work & Bruce Greene


Kelly & Jim Athens

Douglas & Regina (Not Pictured) Stapleton Reinstatement

John Chochla

Sam & Jennifer Steinhebel

John & Mary Kettler

Sarah Urbani

Samuel Stevenson & Laura Xhaj


Elaine Buckberg & Timothy Helwick

Joseph & Kathryn Combs

James & Kelly Loeffler

Phillip Myers & Katelyn Prechel

Bridget Curcuri Roa & Andrew Roa

Jon & Danielle Paquin

Gregory & Teresa DeGrazia

Benjamin Harrell Reinstatement

Case & Lauren Price

Kurt & Kathleen Saldana




Mark & Debbie Snethkamp

Gregory & Alyson Squires

Roger & Irene Sun

Edward & Taffany Van Rossen

Brandon & Kortnee Welch Reinstatement

Robert & Karen (not pictured) Eger Reinstatement

Donald & Sandy Garver


Paula & Todd Wysocki


Timothy & Jana (not pictured) Zilli

Rowland Austin Reinstatement


Susan Hubbard & Andrew Moxie (not pictured)

Stephanie Brett & Jeffrey Jones

Gerald & Courtney Lane

John & Bernadette (not pictured) Moreno Reinstatement

Maria Papas

Vic Abuel & Faye Maribao

David & Rebecca Anderson


Michael & Marcia Ramos

Clyde & Paula Sutton

Bonner & Shannon Upshaw




Brian & Jacqueline Dailey

Jonathon & Leslie Gniatczyk

Gail Sidlek Reinstatement

Ellisse & Will Thompson

Ronald & Marla Haller


Chuck & Mary Martin


Chuck & Tammy O’Conner

Michael & Erica Page

Michael & Betsy Posby

Denise & Kerry Best


Robert & Katherine Hrisoulis

Thomas & Lynda (not pictured) Kotzian Reinstatement

Christopher & Joy Nichols


C. Thompson Jr. & Janet Wells Reinstatement

Carl & Sheri Code Reinstatement

Byron & Nella Vasiliou

Brian Wells & Nancy Pillsbury


Charles & Sarah McClure Reinstatement

Paul Corvino

Valentina Izzi




Rebecca Weiland Reinstatement


Matthew Rossetti No Photos Available Scott and Eileen Bade Douglas and Tracy Benoit Greg and Megan Davis (reinstatement) Zenon and Eugenia Kossak (reinstatement) Alan and Kimberly Whitman Deborah Wolney and Norman Silverman



Sailing 1,400 Miles in 90 Days Yan and Judy Ness Describe Their Summer of Adventure on the Great Lakes By Anna Swartz

When now-General Manager Aaron Wagner gave Yan and Judy Ness a tour of the Club on the day of the Commodore’s Ball in 2012, the Ann Arbor based couple was hooked. “We interviewed a lot of clubs, and the GPYC really was the RitzCarlton experience,” Yan said. “We’ve met so many wonderful people.” They had found the perfect home for their 54-foot sailboat, “Flying Lady,” which the couple purchased in 2012 in Newport, Rhode Island. The Nesses have a long tradition of making excursions, previously by chartering boats. Owning “Flying Lady” has allowed them to live out their dream of embarking on as many adventures as possible. 2018 was the perfect year for an especially memorable Great Lakes trip -- as the sailboat had just received new

sails, rigging, bottom paint, a thruster, windlass, TV, engine overhaul, cushions and Judy’s favorite upgrade -- an ice maker. “The boat was 15 years old and needed a refresh,” Yan said. The couple started their journey on May 14 from Charlevoix. Water temperature was in the high 30s with occasional ice still remaining on the lake. They returned in the middle of August after traveling 1,400 nautical miles. From Green Bay to Georgian Bay, they visited Petoskey, Traverse City, Door County in Wisconsin, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Leland, Northport and Suttons Bay, as well as the GPYC Rendezvous in Killarney, Ontario. Memorable moments on the water included a 12-hour journey across Lake Michigan, from Cedarville to Charlevoix. “We were the only boat out there,” Judy said. “The water was flat as glass.” Other times they experienced rough waters – once while also crossing Lake Michigan, they didn’t see a single boat – just a lone freighter – within a 25-mile radius. Their favorite spots include Charlevoix, which they consider their “Up North home port,” as well as Fayette in the Upper Peninsula. Fayette, located between Escanaba and Manistique, is an old foundry town that was deserted after 24 years of operation in the 1890s. Fayette’s blast furnaces produced almost 230,000 tons of iron, using local hardwood forest for fuel and limestone from the bluffs to purify the iron ore. “The area is now a state park and is nestled among some of the oldest, hardiest trees on earth,” said Yan. Throughout their travels, the couple marveled at the beauty of the Great Lakes. “We take it for granted,”

said Judy. “It’s incredible how beautiful the waters are, as well as the scenery and the small Up North towns.” Yan agrees: “The Great Lakes is as pretty as any place I’ve sailed. What amazes us is the color of the water – it rivals those of the Caribbean.” While Yan and Judy sailed mostly on their own, they were not lacking for company. Not only did their sons Alex and Connor join them at Bay Harbor Marina to celebrate July 4th, but the couple frequently ran into fellow GPYC members during their travels. Once, they walked into a restaurant to find three GPYC Past Commodores. At Gore Bay, they found themselves serendipitously arriving in a slip next to Past Commodore Blaise and Carol Klenow. “They gave us lots of ideas for anchoring spots, most of which we visited and all of which we loved,” Yan said. These and all members are their “tribe,” say Yan and Judy. Not only have they gained friendships as GPYC members, they’ve also benefited from everyone’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the Great Lakes. “We flew our burgee everywhere we went,” Judy said.

Judy and Yan Ness


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Back to the Club Party Features International Street Food


s is tradition, a special Back to the Club party takes place at the GPYC just after the annual month-long shutdown. The 2018 party landed precisely on St. Patrick’s Day, but it wasn’t just Irish Food that members and guests were able to enjoy that evening. The event featured “street food” from France, Japan, Ireland and Mexico. Chef Colby’s menu included eats such as Mexican sliders, pork al pastor, tuna poke cups, twice fried chicken wings, corned beef and shepherd’s pie “fritters.” Attendees also enjoyed dancing to the music of Sean Z. Band until Midnight.

Photography by John F. Martin

2019 Commodore Ilja and Kelley Vreeken

Paul Mattes, Alicia Bonahoom, Paul Silva and Joe Haney

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Shannon Andrus, Tara Grekin, Carol Schebil and Steve Grekin


Easter Children’s Party Photography by Andy Sandifer

Houseman Family

Jack and Betsy Ropke Drummy Family

El-Yussif Family

Gebeck Family



Van Elslander Family

Easter Morreale Family

Vermet Family


Sean Schotthoefer II

Photography by Andy Sandifer

Photography by John F. Martin

GPYC is the Ultimate Summer Place

Family Activity Day Allows Members to Check Out Summer Programs for Children and Adults By Aaron Wagner


he GPYC has traditionally provided high quality programs and activities for our membership. This was taken to a whole new level in 2018, thanks to renovations completed in the fall of 2017 and the addition of several brand new offerings. Members were able to find out more about summer programs for both children and adults at Family Activity Day in April 2018. This is an annual event that allows members to ask questions of program directors, register for classes and meet any new staff members. Sailing Director Wally Cross is focused on building quality programs. Last year, he recruited new Junior Sailing Director Emily Simon who changed up the makeup of the program with her immense talent and ability to teach. Wally also recruited Joseph Klaasen to facilitate our Adult Learn to Sail Program featuring personalized experiences on the water and large format corporate team Building Events. Previously, Joseph ran a highly successful Adult Learn to Sail Program at Bayview Yacht Club with more than 100 participants and professional coaching on each boat. Our Tennis Program has grown exponentially to include multiple racquet sports and fitness. Dmitri Diakonov has cultivated a world class tennis program over the years and is now known as our racquet sports and fitness director. Dmitri continues to focus his attention to growing the tennis program, but now also oversees pickleball, platform tennis and an array of fitness offerings. The GPYC is the only private club in the area to have dedicated pickleball courts, thanks to recent renovations. The courts have already been utilized for professional grade pickleball, and the facility also provides a unique opportunity to host birthday parties or corporate team building events. In the fitness sector, Dmitri brought in some of the best pilates and personal training coaches in the area.

L-R: Day Camp staff member Inisa Dedelli, Day Camp Director Madeleine Kaiser, Day Camp staff member Treasy Dedelli

Assistant Swim Coach Bill Thompson Gina Peruzzi discusses the swim lesson options available at the GPYC.

It’s not just the racquet sports program that was elevated in 2018. Head Swim Team Coach Nick Valice joined the staff last year and elevated the program to new heights, along with returning Assistant Head Coach Bill Thompson. The Sailfish team ended the season with a much-improved record from the previous year, and almost every swimmer at the Michigan Inter-Club Swimming Association. Perhaps the most impressive overhaul was the Club’s Day Camp program, which returned after a oneyear hiatus with Director Madeleine Kaiser at the helm. Kaiser is a teacher at Star of the Sea and brought her gifts of organization and creativity from the classroom to the GPYC. Highlights of the 2018 program included STEAM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), tennis, swimming, sailboat rides, special themed weeks, and more.



Dr. Manz-Dulac (front-middle) with presentation attendees

Lisa Manz-Dulac Gives Presentation on Sun Safety, Skin Disease


By Anna Swartz

Photography by John F. Martin

un safety and skin diseases may not be popular conversation topics. However, educating people about them is not only important – it can save a life. Just ask GPYC member Dr. Lisa Manz-Dulac, who founded Eastside Dermatology with offices in Grosse Pointe Woods and Chesterfield Township in 1996. In April of 2018, Manz-Dulac gave a presentation at the Club on sun safety, photoaging (sun damage), sun-related skin diseases, non-melanoma skin cancer and moles and melanoma. She presented her information in an interactive, Jeopardy style format. Manz-Dulac says the idea for the presentation came about during a conversation with long-time GPYC employee Tina Hooge. Former GPYC Garde Manger Chef Angela (Carwile) Boyd had been diagnosed with melanoma in 2013. After initial successful treatment, Angela later learned that she had metastatic melanoma, resulting in years of surgeries and treatments. Tina organized a successful fundraiser at the Club on her behalf in 2017. Thankfully, after treatment, Gates is now disease-free. But that experience left an impression on members and staff alike – that it’s important to share knowledge about skin disease with others.

L-R: GPYC employee Tina Hooge with former GPYC employee Angela (Carwile) Boyd -- Angela’s 2013 melanoma diagnosis prompted the idea for Dr. Manz-Dulac’s presentation.


When asked what advice she has to prevent skin disease, Manz Dulac says: “Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. If you have any new or changing growth, visit your dermatologist for evaluation. If caught early, skin cancer can be curable.”

Elli Giordimaina, Eugenia Di Sante and Laura Schroder

Joanna Izzi, Sue Wegner and Maureen Gleason

Put on Your Best Hat, It’s Time for the Bowling Awards Banquet By Anna Swartz


group of ladies donning colorful wide-brimmed hats and and men in suits may not be typical attire for the Club’s Bowling Recreation Center. Then again, these members were not there to bowl. They were attending the annual Kentucky Derby Bowling Awards Banquet. Each year, on the day of the race, GPYC women bowlers put on their fanciest hat and watch the race. Men wear suits – and sometimes bow ties.

GPYC Bowling Pro Gordy Woods with Men’s Individual Champion John Seago

After the excitement of the derby, attendees enjoy dinner and awards. Highlights of the 2018 banquet include: Ladies Most Improved Bowler Mary Lou Corrigan +19 Men’s Most Improved Bowler Brad Danna +19 Ladies Club High Average Julie Granger 164 Men’s Club High Average John Seago 220 Ladies Individual Club Champion Rory Washburn Men’s Individual Club Champion John Seago Team Club Champions - Thursday Night League Valentina Izzi, Susan Schmitt, Renee Seago, John Seago and Wayne Wegner Bowler of the Year: Kevin Washburn

Past Commodore Kevin and Julie Granger

Photography by John F. Martin

“It was a great season, and I want to thank everyone for a great season and thank you for supporting the bowling program,” said Bowling Director, Gordy Woods.



Orin Swift Wine Dinner Showcases Unique, Blended Wines By Anna Swartz


f you ask GPYC’s Executive Chef Colby Newman to describe Orin Swift wines, he will get really excited. And for good reason. Newman describes David Phinney, owner of Orin Swift, as young, talented and a true pioneer in making blended wines. Prior to the Orin Swift dinner held at the GPYC on May 10, Newman and General Manager Aaron Wagner attended a tasting with Phinney at The Apparatus Room in Detroit. According to Chef, the experience was phenomenal, and he could not wait to share it with GPYC members. Attendees at the intimate Orin Swift dinner in the Main Dining Room were treated to an appetizer, four courses and dessert – all paired with wines, of course. The menu included “mi-cuit” steelhead, lamb meatballs, coffee-rubbed beef carpaccio, smoked oxtail agnolotti and chocolate hazelnut cake. “It’s my favorite kind of wine to pair because the unique blends are well-received for a wide variety of foods,” Newman said.

Richard Shetler with fiancée Monica Palmer

Susan Vogel, Kate Fettig, Joann Kefalas and Dea Welsh

Bill and Michelle Rockwell


Photography by John F. Martin

SAILING Photography by Michele Penoyer

GPYC Hosts Regatta to Benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The GPYC hosted the 2018 Leukemia Cup Regatta on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The race began at 9:30 a.m., and an awards dinner was held at 5 p.m. Proceeds from breakfast, as well as 10 percent of all lunch sales in the Tower Pub, benefitted the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As part of the event, a “Be the Match� table was set up for people to sign up as possible marrow donors. The event was held again at the GPYC on May 11, 2019.



Mother’s Day

Photography by Andy Sandifer

The Bill family

Honoring Joe Hooge for 40 Years of Service On May 17, 2018, about 125 members gathered in the Main Dining Room for a reception in honor of employee Joe Hooge’s 40 years of service to the GPYC. At the time of the reception, Hooge was the head bartender. He was promoted to Food and Beverage Director in September 2018. Hooge began his career at the GPYC on May 17, 1987, as a bar porter. “He is our longest tenured staff member and is a living legend,” says General Manager Aaron Wagner. “Joe has had a hand in training hundreds of staff members.”

Photography by John F. Martin


Tina and Joe Hooge with General Manager Aaron Wagner

Photography by John F. Martin

Summer Breeze Party Raises Funds for GPYNEF

L-R: Rebecca Gualdoni, Ally Turner, Lorie Vogel and Taryn Simon

By Anna Swartz


he Summer Breeze Party is the traditional kick-off event for the Great Lakes Boating Festival. Tickets to this event are a hot commodity – and not just because it’s a fun-filled evening with fabulous food stations, dancing and a live auction. The event is also a great way to support the sport of sailing, specifically the Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation (GPYNEF). The foundation’s mission is to promote national and international amateur sailing, maritime education and competition, and water safety. This mission is accomplished in a variety of ways: • Outreach programs, training activities and provision of sailing equipment • Organizing, promoting and sponsoring participation in regional, national and international regattas and training • Providing partial funding for local high school sailing programs and individual sailors to accomplish greater levels of excellence on the national level up to Olympic competition • Supporting the general improvement of the lakes and environment in the Lake St. Clair area

Dan Bracciano

Paul and Jennifer Silva

Specifically, funds raised at the Summer Breeze Party allowed Grosse Pointe North and South High Schools, as well as Brother Rice/Marian High Schools, to participate in both local and national regattas. Also, 2018 was a banner year for the GPYNEF’s scholarship program, which provided 15 scholarships to young sailors. In addition, this was a break out year for the Challenge the Wind Youth Sailing Program. GPYNEF worked with them to move their program to the Detroit Boat House (formerly the Detroit Boat Club), provided eight Optimist dinghy sailboats, donated two additional floating platforms to launch boats, and refurbished 120 feet of dock to provide a safe launch area. The foundation also provided funding, equipment and volunteers to assist them to grow their program. The foundation continues to fulfill its mission in 2019. A special event for this year is the GPYNEF’s sponsorship of the USODA National Championships at the GPYC from July 20-28, 2019. This event will draw over 300 Optimist sailors, 8-15 years old. These young sailors will come from across the United States and draw some talent from Europe, Asia and South America.



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Great Lakes Boating Festival Celebrates 30th Year in 2018


he 30th year for the Great Lakes Boating Festival was held from May 1820. The festival featured boats from 16 to 80 feet, as well as entertainment by a steel band, remote control sailboats for the children and a special stadium sailing event perfectly viewed from the Marine Activity Center. Displays of all kinds showcased antique cars, marine products and services, vintage boats and more. Antique Outboard Motor Association and Dossin Great Lakes Museum also were present at the event. New for 2018: WOMC broadcasting live and an art show. As always, the event was open to the public with free admission.

2019 Vice Commodore Gary and Christine Gonzalez

Photography by John F. Martin



2019 Vice Commodore Gary Gonzalez, 2019 Commodore Ilja Vreeken and Director Bill Dillon

Past Commodore Mark Weber with Dr. Larry Stephenson

Gene Di Sante with Past Commodore John Boll

2018 Commodore Sean Schotthoefer

Photography by John F. Martin

Blessing of the Fleet


he Annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony is a special event held each year on Memorial Day. It includes the harbor commissioning along with a Memorial Day ceremony and veteran recognition. The 2018 ceremony was held on Monday, May 28.



Bocce Tournament Fishing Rodeo

Bocce Ball Tournament winners: Runners up Brad and Courtney Drummy, Memorial Day Weekend Bocce Chair Past Commodore Kevin and Julie Granger, and first place winners Roy and Toni Usteski

L-R: Antonio Morreale, Alessandro Giuliani, Annalisa Giuliani, Alessia Morreale and Marco Morreale


Photography by John F. Martin

Thom and Linda McPharlin Lula LaFranca



Pool Games

Photography by John F. Martin

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Fish Fry Summer Celebration Photography by John F. Martin

Phillip Myers and Katelyn Prechel

Derek and Ellen Starks with Matt and Leah Mannino


Father’s Day Fishing Rodeo

Photography by Erik Campos

Captain Vince Brennan, Special Olympics athlete Chloe Fox with first mate Greg Sultana. Fox traveled to Austria for the 2017 Winter Special Olympics Games. Kelly Family

Past Commodore Dennis Andrus with grandson Mason Andrus

Photo courtesy of Eric Woodhouse/MOMC

Muskie Tournament Raises $11,000 for Special Olympics


n June 19, 2018 at the GPYC, the Michigan Ontario Muskie Club (MOMC) hosted its 23rd Annual Muskie Tournament. Thirty-nine boats hit Lake St. Clair to fish muskellunge, raising $11,000 for the Grosse Pointe/Harper Woods community chapter of Special Olympics and Sports Inc. The MOMC, as well as the GPYC, DAC, DYC and LC, all participate in this charitable event. Six Olympians participated in the tournament itself, while 25 Olympians joined family and friends for the dinner following the tournament.


SAILING Advantage

John Seago’s boat Gulo Gulo

Summer Regatta


he 89th Annual Summer Regatta was held at the GPYC on Saturday, June 30. This Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association (DRYA) regatta features two short courses. About 40 boats participated in the race, according to Sailing Director Wally Cross.. An exciting change for the 2019 regatta is the addition of a Cal 25 stadium sailing event in front of the Marine Activity Center, which Cross says is in honor of Past Commodore Sloane Barbour and his Cal 25, Calliope. Barbour is a long-time sailor and former chairman of the Race Committee, as well as a GPYC member for more than 53 years. He now holds the honorary title of chairman emeritus.

Photography by Michele Penoyer



Photography by Erik Campos & Christine Semmler L-R: Jane Curcuri, Rene Seago, Mary Ann Simon and Sue Bracciano

Christine Drummy and Gloria Wiczorek

Women’s Night at the Gazebo Bar L-R: Kimberly Bourbeau, Alicia Laethem, Tammy Haney and Brittany Reihl


Women’s Night at the Gazebo Bar is a popular social event at the GPYC – it was held in both June and August in 2018 and is sure to be repeated in 2019. The event allows members and guests to enjoy camaraderie, drink specials and live entertainment.

MEMBER SCENE Photography by John F. Martin & Andy Sandifer

Fourth of July

Upshaw Family

Mychalowych Family


MEMBER SCENE Photography by John F. Martin & Andy Sandifer Joe Schaden and daughter Marnie with their dog Lily

Past Commodore Mark Weber is the official emcee of the annual Pet Parade

The Origin of the July 4th Pet Parade By Anna Swartz


any members are familiar with the annual Pet Parade, held the morning of every Fourth of July at the Club. But how did it start, and what is it exactly?

The year was 2003. James Ramsey was Commodore, and his wife Marney -- a pet lover – had a unique idea for GPYC children to showcase their beloved pets. What if the Club hosted a friendly competition of sorts, allowing children to answer questions about their pets and to win prizes for a number of categories? Marney says that she persuaded Past Commodore Mark Weber to be the emcee, and he still happily takes on this role each year. The judges are typically the current Commodore and First Lady, Vice Commodore and Marney. The categories range from Largest Dog to Pet/Owner Look Alike to Best of Show. “We’ve had all sorts of pets show up to the parade,” Marney says. “One year, (Past Commodore) Jimmy Taylor brought his horse. We’ve also had a duck, rabbits, and even a snake!” Marney and her brother share a golden retriever, Maggie Mae, who often makes an appearance at the parade.

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Those who have never participated in the event are encouraged to join the fun – each and every Fourth of July on the East Lawn. This is a tradition that is sure to continue for years to come. Marney Ramsey with her dog Maggie Mae

Photos courtesy of Venessa Torres

Two GPYC Sailors Place in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race

SAILING A nighttime instrument reading of 0.67 knots captures the light to nonexistent winds during two days of the race.

By Anna Swartz

The 2018 Port Huron to Mackinac Race, a 290-mile race, was held July 14-17. After moderate wind for a few hours after the start, conditions changed into two full days of light to non-existent wind. The boat speed was typically less than a half knot. However, GPYC members Steve Nadeau (Brandilee) and Dr. John Seago (Gulo Gulo) preserved through the light stuff and were rewarded with very strong wind from Monday night on. Finishing around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Steve and John placed first and second, respectively, in the same asymmetrical spinnaker class. This was Nadeau’s 32nd Mackinac Race, and while he has a number of second and third place finishes under his belt, this first-place finish was “a real milestone.” Nadeau began sailing in 1978 and earned “Old Goat” status (25 Mac races). Two of his loyal crew also achieved that honor, sailing all 25 on Nadeau’s boats, a very unusual scenario. Nadeau says his full crew of 10 split into two teams, using the traditional shifts of four hours on, four hours off: “You know you are in a long race when you come back on shift and notice the boat hadn’t moved!”

Round Island Light came into view for Steve Nadeau and his crew about 1/4 mile from the finish line.

“The pinnacle moment of the race was definitely the finish, knowing that we had finally reached our goal,” Nadeau stated. “Sailing requires a lot of skill and a little luck, too. If you choose to go 100 yards to the right, that could change the outcome dramatically.” As for fellow GPYC member John Seago, Nadeau said that a highlight of the Mackinac race this year, was that from Cove Island on, the two boats basically match raced, staying within close proximity (sometimes as close as 50 feet for hours on end). “John and I are very respectful and supportive of each other’s success,” Nadeau said. The Mackinac Race is one of many races in which Nadeau and Seago find themselves on the water together. For instance, Brandilee and Gulo Gulo race in the same class on Saturdays on Lake St. Clair. Seago’s crew for the Mackinac Race was comprised of his sons Ryan and Michael, fellow GPYC member sailors Daniel Bracciano (son) and Geoff Van Natter and four others. Once “mother nature arrived” on the third day, says Seago, they were finally able to pick up their speed. “We had +30 knots of air on Monday and consistent 20-25 knots until the finish on Tuesday, he said. “The race was 65 hours in duration, but we were still able to make it to the party at Noon on Mackinac Island.” Seago has been participating in the Mackinac Race on various boats since 2001. For the last decade, he has raced on his own boat. Currently, Seago competes in the weekend DRYA races and the Lake Shore Sail Club Wednesday Sunset Series. His love for sailing all started at the GPYC – he took the Adult Learn to Sail class at the Club when he first joined in 1996.

Steve Nadeau and his crew won first place in the asymmetrical spinnaker class.



Photography by John F. Martin

Photography by Christine Semmler

GPYC Sailfish Bring in More Wins, Personal Bests in 2018


ew Head Swim Coach Nick Valice, along with returning Assistant Swim Coach Bill Thompson, took the GPYC Sailfish swim program to a new level in 2018. The Sailfish finished the 2018 season with a 2-4 record, improving on a 0-6 record last year. “The Sailfish finished up an incredible 2018 swim season at the MICSA (Michigan Inter-Club Swimming Association) Swim Finals,” said Head Swim Coach Nick Valice. “We placed eighth overall at the MICSA Finals with almost every single swimmer posting personal best times at the meet.” Valice also wanted to spotlight Gabriella Mannino, who broke the club record in the girls 8 & Under 25-meter backstroke with a time of 20.13.The team also had two individual league champions this year: Luke Mychalowych in the Boys 12 & Under 50 Meter Freestyle and Julian Palace in the Boys 15-17 50 Meter Backstroke. “The Sailfish finished out the season strong, and we look forward to the 2019 season,” Valice said.

The 2018 GPYC Sailfish team


Nicholas Borrego, Coach Nick Valice and Vincent Sceglio

Izzy Starks, Mackenzie Simon, Neva Combs, Erin DeGrazia, Annabel Klaasen, Hannah DiDio, Lila Loeffler, Betsy Ropke

Sophie Schuetze, Coach Bill Thompson, Coach Nick Valice, Coach Olivia Peruzzi, Coach Gina Peruzzi, and Genevieve

GPYC Offers Unique Executive Team Building Experience By Anna Swartz


one-of-a-kind team building experience for companies is available right here at the GPYC. The one-day workshop and sailing experience is appropriate for all group sizes and any level of on-the-water experience. Teams exchange the office environment of conference rooms and cubicles for breathtaking views of Lake St. Clair at a world-class Marine Activity Center. The day’s format includes a continental breakfast followed by a meeting and lunch. In the afternoon, teams received on-the-water lessons with one of GPYC’s seasoned sailors and coaches. A friendly round of races concludes the day’s session. Commodore James Morrow’s company, Drake Automotive Group, is one that has benefited from this experience. The company combined a board meeting and team building into an afternoon at the GPYC. “Only one of the 11 participants had ever sailed before, and the event was a complete success,” Morrow said. “The entire team continues to talk about how great the event was. I would recommend it as a great meeting venue and team building exercise.”

GPYC sailfish at a home meet vs. Oakland Hills Country Club

For more information about Executive Team Building at the GPYC, contact Sailing Director Wally Cross at (313) 640-7014 or Employees from Drake Automotive Group during their on-the-water team building experience at the GPYC Photo by Michele Penoyer

Gabriella Mannino


Photography by Brian Widdis

Day Camp Program Revived in 2018 By Anna Swartz


adeleine Kaiser came into her first year as Day Camp Director well-equipped to ensure that GPYC children and guests were not only in a safe, caring environment, but that they would have an absolute blast, too. Kaiser’s job as a second grade teacher at Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods, as well as previous experience with preschool through middle school students, allowed her to succeed in reviving and growing the Club’s program. The 2018 Day camp, for children ages 4-12, included highlights such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), tennis, pickleball, swimming, sailboat rides and fun themed activities for each week. “One of my best work experiences was being a part of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club staff from 2008-2012, so I am incredibly honored and thrilled to be back on the team,” said Madeleine. “My greatest passion is working with children to give them enjoyable enrichment opportunities to learn and grow.” The 2019 program will be offered for eight weeks this summer, from June 17 through August 9. Ella Legwand

Owen Delisle

Gia Cueter and Elle Johnston



Tennis, Pickleball Enjoy First Season at New Family Recreation Center


ccording to Racquet Sports and Fitness Director Dmitri Diakonov, the Club enjoyed a great junior tennis program and some fun pickleball events. “We had a fantastic pickleball exhibition with Aaron and me as well as a super fun member/guest tournament,” Dmitri said. Fitness was also offered outdoors at the Family Recreation Center, with instructors Nancy Blake and Brian Antecki offering pilates, yoga sculpt, and private training sessions. “The family activity center is an incredibly beautiful and incredibly special area of the club,” Diakonov says. “I saw so many wonderful memories created in our first full season, and I have no doubt that this area will continue to create special moments for many, many years to come.”

GPYC had a men’s interclub team for the first year: L-R: Racquet Sports and Fitness Director Dmitri Diakonov, Mike Wharton, Allan Hart, Tim Groustra and Dr. Zenon Kossak Member/guest pickleball tournament runners up Peggy Kurza and Julie Granger with winners Dale Hohlfeldt and Bill Guistine

In a League of Their Own

GPYC’s Women’s Golf League, The Yacht Shots By Anna Swartz

I The Yacht Shots in 1997

The Yacht Shots in 2018

f it’s a Tuesday morning between May and September, you’ll find a group of GPYC ladies teeing off at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Macomb. The group of about 15 players begins at 8:30 a.m. sharp and plays 18 holes, followed by lunch for those who wish to stay. Yacht Shots Chair Marney Ramsey has been playing with the group for more than 20 years and enjoys the camaraderie of her fellow members and guests. Once the weather turns cold, many in the group continue to meet monthly at each other’s houses to play euchre. But once spring arrives, they will be out on the golf course ready to make another year of memories. For anyone interested in joining this fun group, there are openings for experienced regular and substitute players.




L-R: Jay Rau and Billy Starrs

DRYA Regatta participants with GPYC coaches

L-R: Kyle Spondike and Michael Mullins

Will Turner and Mia Pyenta


Photography by Michele Penoyer

Junior Sailing Celebrates a Successful 2018 Season


he Junior Sailing season concluded with the annual Junior Sailing Awards Ceremony on August 8, 2018. This was the first year with Grosse Pointe native Emily Simon at the helm of the program. “I was thrilled to return to my home club to inspire and teach a new generation of sailors,” Simon said. Highlights of the 2018 season included the DRYA Regatta on July 25-26 and the Junior Olympic Sailing Regatta on July 28-29, both held at the GPYC. The junior sailors who were involved in racing, also participated in the Crescent Regatta on July 10, the North Star Regatta on June 28-29 and the Bayview Regatta on August 2.

2018 Junior Sailing participants

Simon expressed that the junior sailing program grew by leaps and bounds in 2018, with a total of 99 enrolled in last year’s program. This was also the first year that sailors could take advantage of the newly-built Marine Activity Center, which provides classroom space, screens to replay practice or regatta footage, restrooms, a viewing balcony and more – all conveniently located in the southeast corner of the harbor.

Junior Sailing Chairs Bill and Ally Turner

L-R: Jackie Fradenburg, Addison Price and Carolyn Adams

Junior Sailing Chair Bill Turner with GPYC Junior Sailing coaches


SAILING Learn to Sail Most Improved: Carolyn Adams Sportsmanship: Abigail KenyonGuevara Most Outstanding: Ben Sun Adventure Most Improved: Hannah Sun Coaches Award: Jacob Lecluyse Sportsmanship: Jack Bidigare Green Most Improved: Kayley Turner Coaches Award: Sophia Gualdoni Sportsmanship: Erin DeGrazia Most Outstanding: Luke Wenzler RWB Most improved: Jackson Rushing Coaches Award: Braden Vogel Sportsmanship: Henry Chesterton Opti Sail of the year: Conner Kirkman

Junior Sailing Director Emily Simon, Sailor of the Year Henry Gonzalez, Corinthian award winner Emily Pytell, Boy Sailor of the Year Braden Vogel and Girl Sailor of the Year Christiana Scheibner

JAM Coaches Award: Will Turner Most Improved: Michael Mullins Sportsmanship: Kyle Spondike Crew: Lilli Walton Skipper: Emily Pytell 420 Coaches Award: Ellie Groustra Crew: Zach Rockwell Skipper: Michael Kirkman Laser Coaches Award: Fritz Woerner Overall Awards Girl Sailor: Christie Scheibner Boy Sailor: Braden Vogel Corinthian: Emily Pytell Sailor of the Year: Henry Gonzalez


Coach Caroline Breen with the 420 JAM class

Dock Decorating

L-R: Gizelle and Nadia Gniatczyk

Jonathan and Leslie Gniatczyk


Dive In Movie

Sue and Wayne Wegner

Colette O’Connor

Judy and Past Commodore Mark Weber

Nico Abuel

Family Fun Night

Photography by John F. Martin



Photography by John Martin and Thomas Kliber

Action-Packed Fleet Review Weekend is Pinnacle Event of a GPYC Summer


By Anna Swartz

leet Review at the GPYC is always a highlight of the summer season at the GPYC. In its 89th year, the 2018 event from August 16-18, hosted by Commodore Sean and Lady Kristen Schotthoefer proved to be no different.

The festivities began on Thursday evening with boat dock decorating and a theme of “World Cup of Pubs”. Boaters and non-boaters alike were encouraged to participate and enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere of fun and comradery. In the evening, the children’s dive-in movie of “Finding Dory” was a success, allowing the children to be entertained while parents finished decorating or relaxing on their boats with a cocktail. Friday evening’s Family Fun Night, normally held on the East Lawn, was held indoors due to weather. But the change in location did not put a damper on the evening – as the Main Dining Room was transformed into a festive atmosphere with a variety of games and raffle prizes. Children enjoyed mini motors racing in the rotunda – a favorite every year – as well as Toxic Meltdown, Whack-a-Mole, Limbo and more. The Dock Parties also took place that night – members and guests enjoyed the music of The White Russians at the Gazebo Bar and the various docks organized special food/members stations for all to enjoy. The prize for best decorated sailboat went to Dennis and Gladys Goschka with their vessel Gotcha Now, while the Metropoulos Family won Best Decorated Powerboat with their vessel Aspasia. Winner of the Best Decorated Group Dock was the East Wall with their rendition of The Pink Pony Bar on Mackinac Island. All members who decorated their boat received a special gift from the Commodore. Late afternoon on Saturday, the traditional Fleet Review took place with a parade of dressed yachts passing by the Commodores on the balcony of the Marine Activity Center. Members in the parade saluted them as they passed by. In the evening, members enjoyed a Fleet Review Dinner featuring a seasonal menu by Executive Chef Colby Newman. Afterwards, attendees danced on the pool deck to the music of NUCLASSICA.


2018 Commodore Sean Schotthoefer with First Lady Dr. Kristen Schotthoefer

L-R: 2018 Commodore Sean and Kristen Schotthoefer, 2018 Vice Commodore Ilja and Kelley Vreeken and 2018 Rear Commodore Gary and Christine Gonzalez

Allan Hart’s boat, Hartbeat, during the 2018 Fleet Review

Dock Parties

Photography by John F. Martin

Jeff and Molly Hohlfeldt with Christine and Fred John Reif

The East Wall won for Best Decorated Group Dock with their rendition of The Pink Pony Bar on Mackinac Island.



Commodore Ilja and Kelley Vreeken

Photography by John F. Martin

Steve and Donna Simmons

William and Ellisse Thompson with Alison LaCrosse and Evan Rutkofske

Fleet Review Dinner 60

Newest Automobiles, Classic & Muscle Cars Showcased at Auto Preview


PYC’s annual Auto Preview on the evening of September 12, 2018 featured vehicles from GPYC’s own auto dealers. Members and guests were able to check out the newest automobiles for 2018, as well as some classic and muscle cars. Participating dealers for the event were as follows: Bavarian BMW, Genesis Cadillac, Genesis Chevrolet, Al Deeby Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Vanguard Auto Sales LLC.

Andy MacLachlan with Phil Hernandez of Genesis Cadillac

Photography by Christine Semmler

Joe and Tammy Haney with son Liam

Matt Schaden, Past Commodore Dennis Andrus, Pete Beauregard and James Mestdagh

L-R: Bud Cornillie, Claudia De Wald, Rene Cornillie, Mike and Jackie Monahan



Nino Cueter with his daughter Gia

Photography by John F. Martin & Erik Campos

Fishing Rodeo O’Connor Family

Pool Games



Labor Day BBQ

Obeid and Gallagher Families

Andrea Rodriguez and Daniela Rodriguez

Photography by John F. Martin & Erik Campos

Rene Seago with Mandy VanNatter and her daughter Cecily

Top: Erin and Mike Roberts. Bottom, L-R: Gisele Bourbeau and Madeline Roberts



Photography by Michele Penoyer

80th Bluenose Regatta Boasts Blue Skies, Strong Wind


n September 22, 2018, GPYC hosted the 80th Bluenose Regatta – a long-distance 28-mile race named for the often cooler temperatures sailors encounter at that time of year. GPYC Sailing Director Wally Cross participated in these races as a child, as part of the crew on his father’s boat, and remembers the “blue nose” temperatures of his youth. However the 2018 Bluenose, says Cross, allowed sailors the benefit of beautiful weather with blue skies and strong winds. The race brings together sailors from various Clubs belonging to the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association. At the conclusion of the race, sailors enjoyed a party that celebrated both the Summer Regatta in June and the Bluenose Regatta. Sailors enjoyed a complimentary taco bar and Dragonmead beer. Steve Nadeau’s Brandilee



Breakfast with the Manager Keeps Members in Tune with Club By Aaron Wagner


n order to have an open line of communication with our membership, I have scheduled quarterly events called “Breakfast with the Manager.” These events feature a general update on Club operations o be a Distinguished Club is to be one of along with updates on current and future projects. At press time, the most recent Breakfast with the only a few, highly select private clubs that Manager had taken place in September. We specifically discussed two exciting topics: a new structure and are recognized as providing a Member accountability system for management and the Club being honored as a Distinguished Club by BoardRoom Experience at a level attained by only the finest Magazine. clubs in the world. Below is the current list of Distinguished Clubs as determined by a thorough First, we have implemented an operating system for the management team and staff called Entrepreneurial vetting and awarding process conducted by Operating System (EOS). This consists of a standardized structure for management and creates a culture BoardRoom magazine’s Distinguished Clubs team of accountability, staff happiness and positive results. I discussed our staff ’s Core Values: 1) Passion for of industry specialists.. Hospitality, 2) Loyalty to the Legacy, 3) Innovative Teamwork, and 4) Do What You Say. We also discussed the organization’s “rocks,” which are goals each management team member sets for the 60-day period. GPYC Recognized as a 2019 Distinguished Club Grosse Pointe Yacht Club has been recognized as Perhaps the most important part of the presentation was regarding the Club’s evaluation by BoardRoom a Distinguished Club by BoardRoom Magazine. Magazine’s Distinguished Clubs. This private club consulting firm travels the world visiting clubs of all And that title does not come easily. The process types and awards the finest clubs with the distinction of being named a Distinguished Club. I was pleased is detailed and lengthy and includes a committee to report that they not only named GPYC as a Distinguished Club, they also added that we were one of nomination, a site visit and formulaic audit. The only half dozen Clubs of any type (yacht, golf, country, city) to receive the “Iconic” designation as well. site visit focuses on the Member Experience by examining the following: intangible quality, service I hope you will join me for future breakfasts! quality, governance quality, facility quality and product quality. Retaining this status requires yearly verification – which is alternating year-to-year site visits and telephone-based interviews with club management. Of the select group of clubs who receive this award, GPYC was one of the few to receive an “Iconic” designation. This is based on criteria such as “must have been founded at least 75 years ago” and “must have held a major golf championship or event.”


Photography by John F. Martin


Bowling Recreation Center Improvements Enhance Member Experience


he Club’s Bowling Recreation Center underwent extensive changes over the late spring and summer months of 2018, with a grand opening celebration taking place on September 28. The bowling center received a new facelift – and even a new name. Now referred to as the Bowling Recreation Center, the space is more open, inviting and ready to serve as the perfect space for watching the big game, celebrating birthdays or just enjoying your favorite cocktail and the camaraderie of friends. Renovations include a dedicated locker room, permanent bar, new TVs and furniture. A Teen Center with games and lounge seating has also been added to the Fo’c’sle.


Past Commodore Bill Vogel

L-R: Meg, Greg and Diane Gallagher with Bella Maska

Derek Starks with Tom Stephenson

Chris Izzi with daughter Valentina Izzi at a Lions Tailgate event in the Bowling Recreation Center

Executive Chef Colby Newman barbecuing at the Lions Tailgate Party

Photography by John F. Martin


MEMBER SCENE Photography by Robert Widdis

Grandparents Day Orhan Family

Loeffler Family

Cooper Family

Gniatczyk Family


Photography by Michele Penoyer

Sailors Utilize Marine Activity Center During Two Windless Days of J 70 Great Lakes Championship


he new Marine Activity Center (MAC) proved its worth at the J 70 Great Lakes Championship, which was held at the GPYC on September 14-16. The dilemma of what to do on the first two literally wind-less days was solved by sailors gathering at the MAC to listen to music and play games like corn hole. Located at the southeast corner of the Club’s harbor, the facility features an area for classroom instruction, flat-screen TVs to view racing footage, equipment storage, restrooms and a water bottle refilling station. This made it the perfect place for sailors to congregate, until the wind finally returned on the third and final day of the regatta. This event drew 28 boats with more than 100 total sailors from primarily the Midwest, with several boats from Canada participating.


MEMBER SCENE Photography by Erik Campos

Architect Patrick Ahearn Hosts Lecture & Book Signing


PYC member Patrick Ahearn, one of America’s top classical architects, was at the Club on September 13, 2018 for a lecture at the Club and book signing. Ahearn demonstrates an unparalleled ability to combine the romance of traditional architecture with the ideals of modernism. Ahearn’s book “Timeless: Classic American Architecture for Contemporary Living” reveals stunning photos and entertaining descriptions of some of the awardwinning private residences and public environments created during his 45-year career. Ahearn, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, began his career with ambitious adaptive-reuse projects, and for the past 25 years has focused primarily on historically motivated, site-sensitive private residences in New England. Based in Boston for the last four decades, Ahearn oversees a firm of 12 designers working in studios in Boston’s Back Bay and in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard. He and his work have been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers and on HGTV. Patrick Ahearn and Linda Schaden


Scotch and Cigars Photography by Erik Campos

Jackie Monahan with granddaughter Samantha Grundy

Drummy Family

Johnny Martin with George Ellis

Megan Schaden with daughter Marnie

Children’s Halloween Party Photography by John F. Martin




Christine Knapp, Joanna Izzi, Amy Schaden and Kathy Marowske


Photography by John F. Martin

Schotthoefer Family

Maria Quint with daughter Abbie

L-R: Betsy Ropke and Lila Loeffler



Silver Oak and Twomey Wine Tasting


special menu prepared by Executive Chef Colby Newman paired with Silver Oak and Twomey wines was a special treat for all who attended the October 25 event. The menu included amuse bouche paired with a 2017 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc, tartare with a 2016 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, bone marrow with a 2016 Twomey ‘Bien Nacido’ Pinot Noir, guinea hen with a 2014 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cab.

Sue and Dan Bracciano

Derek and Ellen Starks with Amy and Brad Danna

Photography by John F. Martin


Veteran’s Day Brunch

Service Dog Helps Veteran/Guest Speaker Cope with PTSD


n Sunday, November 4, members and guests gathered to honor those who have served our country in the Armed Forces at the annual Veteran’s Day Brunch. In 2018, the GPYC was honored to welcome guest speaker Sheldon Ewers and his service dog, Roy. Ewers is a U.S Navy Veteran (1990-1994 Persian Gulf) and Retired Lieutenant, Michigan Department of Corrections. Ewers was paired with Roy in August 26, 2016 by an organization called Guardian Angels. The organization provides service dogs to veterans who are suffering PTSD due to traumatic experiences. Roy is the recipient of 2017 Service Dog of the Year. Photography by John F. Martin

Veteran and guest speaker Sheldon Ewers with Mary

L-R: Past Commodore Ronald Schaupeter, Kristin and Nelson Ropke with Cheryll and Ron Ropke (Nelson’s parents). Front: Betsy Ropke


MEMBER SCENE Photography by John F. Martin

Meet the Candidates “Meet the Candidates� is an annual event that takes place the weekend before the Annual Meeting. Members gathered in the Main Dining Room for candidate speeches at 5:30 p.m., and polls were open from 6 to 8 p.m. Polls are also always open on the evening of the Annual Meeting.

L-R: Wayne Wegner and Joe Schmitt

L-R: Bill Dillon, 2019 Commodore Ilja Vreeken and David Schaden

L-R: Past Commodore Ty Totte, 2019 Vice Commodore Gary Gonzalez and 2018 Commodore Sean Schotthoefer


L-R: Marney Ramsey, Susan Schmitt, Kelley Vreeken, Liz Rader, Sheri Totte and Carol Klenow

L-R: Mary Kettler, Raminta Mastis, Gloria Wiczorek, Elli Giordima, Mary Lou and Dennis Corrigan, Gene Di Sante

Annual Meeting Recaps Successes of 2018 By Anna Swartz


he night of GPYC’s 2018 Annual Meeting, November 8, allowed the membership to receive an update on Club affairs. As is tradition, the first order of business was to honor those members who have passed away in the last year – Peggy Beadle, Regina Butler, Christ Daskas, William Nill, Donald Rentschler, Norma Riehl, Donald Savage and Margaret Smith.

L-R: Past Commodores Bill Storen and Jim Ramsey

L-R: Past Commodores Mark Weber and Ty Totte

Reports were then given on the harbor, financial status of the Club, the Distinguished Club designation, strategic goals, accomplishments and future plans. The 2017-2018 major accomplishments included the Bowling Recreation Center and Fo’c’sle renovation, a Wi Fi upgrade, harbor outdoor smoker, men’s locker room renovation, Family Recreation Center (splash pad coating, fence and walkway) and rotunda restoration. The Club also honored its 2018 Senior Members Jay Fishman, A. Anne Moroun, Steven Nadeau and Mark Zmsylowski; Senior Social Members Gebran Anton, Frank Nesi, M.D., and Raymond Cracchiolo; and Life Member Walter Schmidt. In addition, Steven Vreeken was awarded Member of the Year, while Robert Galeota was honored as Yachtsman of the Year. The election results were also announced – Bob Weiland and Bruce Knapp were elected as the new directors for 2018-2019.

L-R: Brad Benigni and Graham Korneffel

L-R: Bill and Ally Turner, Bill Vogel and Stacy Spondike

Photography by Erik Campos


MEMBER SCENE Photography by John F. Martin

Member of the Year: Steven Vreeken

Yachtsman of the Year: Robert Galeota



Vreeken quickly became involved at the Club – for example, by chairing the Engineering Committee for three years. He found this role humbling, as he discovered “the massive efforts by so many fellow members and staff needed to keep a facility the size of the GPYC running smoothly.” As head of that committee, Vreeken provided expertise and guidance on a myriad of projects, such as:

Galeota first joined the GPYC in 2004 when his children Emma, age 17, and son Aidan,16, were toddlers. “I wanted a place to keep our boat and also where my children could learn to swim and sail,” he said. “They were in the junior sailing program for many years.”

By Anna Swartz

y the time Steven Vreeken became a member in 2013, he was already very familiar with the GPYC and its many benefits. In particular, Vreeken finds entertaining guests and hosting business events at the Club as major perks. “At the time, both my brothers and parents were members,” Vreeken says. “I really wanted to share the experience with my son who was 4 years old at the time. He loves going there – he has since learned to swim at the GPYC, and I see him learning to sail there in the future.”

• Maintenance items such as the walk-in cooler replacement, HVAC system upgrades, sump maintenance under the pool, and direction on refurbishing the Tee Dock • Marine Activity Center, Bowling Recreation Center, and Harbor projects. • Future planning items such as maintenance capex looking forward five years. But it’s not all work and no play for Vreeken – who enjoys relaxing at the Club and socializing. His children, he says, enjoy the simple pleasures of GPYC life, such as frozen drinks and pizza after a day at the pool with friends. “The venue is unbeatable,” Vreeken says. “The great service, range of activities, pool, staff and fellow members all contribute to make the GPYC world class.” When asked how he felt about the honor of being named Member of the Year, Vreeken says: “During the awards presentation, Gary Gonzalez was very accurate in saying I am someone comfortable working in the background. Hearing my name at the end of Gary’s introduction was stunning, as I feel there are so many other folks who could qualify for the same honor. Regardless, I felt quite proud and humbled by this recognition, it was really unexpected.”


2018 Commodore Sean Schotthoefer, Steven Vreeken and 2019 Commodore Ilja Vreeken (Steven’s brother)

By Anna Swartz

onsidering Robert Galeota’s dedication to the GPYC and passion for boating, it is no surprise that he was selected as the 2018 Yachtsman of the Year. That is, unless you ask Galeota himself. “I was completely surprised and touched that the Board selected me for this award,” Galeota said. “I literally had no idea until Commodore Vogel was about half way through his speech.”

He quickly jumped into volunteer roles at the Club, serving on the Membership, House and Engineering Committees, as well as serving as the chairman of the Harbor Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors for eight years. He is currently the co-chairman of the Strategic Harbor Committee. “My involvement with the Harbor Committee has always been the most important to me,” Galeota says. “We are, after all, a yacht club. Since 2006, I have been part of the Strategic Harbor Committee directly involved with the redesign and upgrade of our Harbor.” Originally from the East Coast, Galeota has been actively involved in the yachting lifestyle since he was a very young boy. “The Great Lakes offer some of the most beautiful boating destinations in the summer,” he said. “I have found the GPYC to be the finest yacht club in all of the Great Lakes and a wonderful place for my children to grow up. I must say that the harbor, food and beverage and administrative staff at the Club are some of the most dedicated people that I have ever met and worked Yachtsman of the Year with. They make the experience at Robert Galeota with Annie Kelley Photo courtesy of Robert Galeota the Club truly special.”

Holiday Decorating

Gene Di Sante with First Lady Kelley Vreeken

Photography by John F. Martin

Doug Dossin, Past Commodore Kevin and Julie Granger

Faye Mariabo

Photography by John F. Martin

Carolyn Schmidt



Tree Lighting Photography by John F. Martin

Elisabeth Meda

Quint Family

Elena and Johnny Martin


Holiday Boutique

A display of member Amanda Wegner’s business, Pink Elephant Cupcakes

Tammy Haney with her mother Barbara MurtughÂ

Judy Long and Michelle Shore


MEMBER SCENE Photography by John F. Martin


90th Annual Commodore’s Ball is Magical Evening at the GPYC By Kelley Vreeken


lja and I would like to personally thank all of the members and their guests who attended the 90th Annual Commodore’s Ball on December 1. This time-honored tradition is a favorite event for many of us, and this year’s event did not disappoint. Over 160 attendees joined us, and more than 10 percent of the guests were either new members or potential new members. We hope you had as much fun as we did! Upon arriving at the Club for pictures, we were thrilled to see how the Ballroom had been transformed into an elegant traditional Christmas wonderland, thanks to the talents of member Lena Moradian. Member John F. Martin was on hand to take complimentary group pictures in front of the beautiful East Foyer Christmas tree and pictures throughout the Ball proceedings. Our members looked amazing in their long gowns and tuxedoes, and he did a great job capturing their special moments.

The 2018-2019 Officers, Directors and Fleet Officers with their spouses and guests

Back, L-R: Pasha Vreeken, Commodore Ilja Vreeken and Skye Vreeken. Middle, L-R: Madeline Roeske and Anika Vreeken. Front, L-R: Kaitlyn Vreeken, Kelley Vreeken and Marika Vreeken

First Lady Kelley Vreeken with Commodore Ilja Vreeken

The traditional Christmas theme was also reflected in the evening’s menu. Executive Chef Colby Newman and the GPYC culinary team provided an incredible meal with wine pairings and a delicious dessert. We thank them and our service staff for an exceptional dining experience. We would also like to thank General Manager Aaron Wagner and members of his team for providing oversight for this event. Planning for the ball was perfectly orchestrated by Catering Director Barb Walkowski and Communications Manager Anna Swartz. Great job! We would also like to recognize everyone who participated in the Commodores Ball proceedings. Special thanks go to the six event hostesses, our daughters Kaitlyn, Pasha and Skye; our nieces, Marika and Anika; and family friend Madeline Roeske. They seemed to run laps ushering us all in with grace and charm while exuding style in their beautiful gowns and high heels. Following the procession


MEMBER SCENE of Visiting Commodores, Commander of the Grosse Pointe Power Squadron, and past and current leadership of the Club, Emcee Wayne Wegner led those gathered in moment of silence to acknowledge the passing of President George H. W. Bush. Wayne then used his familiar voice to lead everyone in singing the Canadian and U.S. national anthems, and Fleet Chaplain Reverend Walter Schmidt offered the evening’s blessing. Ilja thanked all those responsible for the event and recognized the leadership of the Club as well as their families. Past Commodore Tymon Totte gave an encouraging and positive toast. Before the proceedings ended, Outgoing Commodore Sean Schotthoefer was presented with his Past Commodore flag. PC Sean then presented Ilja with his Commodore flag to mark the occasion of his new leadership role. Reflecting back on the event, we were glad to have so many members, family, and friends join us that night. I don’t think there was room for another table in the Ballroom. We were also glad everyone enjoyed the band. I have never been to a Commodore’s Ball where the dance floor was completely full from the moment the band started until it ended. We danced for hours! A special thanks to Jeff Laethem for his rendition of “Sweet Caroline!” As a departing gift for guests at the ball, we were so glad to commission Curtis Posuniak from Klassics by Kurtis to create the beautiful ornaments of the rendition of the original Clubhouse in 1929, handmade in Poland. These ornaments will remain a special keepsake of the ball and the GPYC. L-R: Tim Helwick and Elaine Buckberg, Dave and Becca Anderson, and Edward and Taffany Van Rossen

Ilja and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the help from staff with planning and the support of the guests at the Ball. From the minute we arrived for pictures until our departure when the clock struck midnight and my feet were swollen from hours of dancing, we were overwhelmed by the grandeur of the entire evening. We also appreciated the unexpected and complimentary correspondence we received following the event. It was truly a magical evening we will never forget. Past Commodore Bob and Liz Rader

Each attendee received this handmade ornaments, featuring a rendition of the original Clubhouse in 1929.


Marita Grobbel and Past Commodore Dennis Andrus

L-R: 2018 Commodore Sean Schotthoefer with 2019 Commodore Ilja Vreeken

Photography by John F. Martin

Founder’s Club Donors Ensure Continued Club Improvements


n December 2018, 74 members of the Founder’s Club celebrated a successful year of fundraising, as well as the promise of future improvements to the Club. The Founder’s Club was created in 2016 and is led by longtime member John Mager. The group consists of 121 contributors who have committed at least $1,000 per year for five years in an annual gift, so far in excess of $2,400,000.

Bruce Knapp reveals the Fitness and Wellness Center plans.

At the December event, members gathered to view the new donor boards which are now on display in the Rotunda area of the Club. Renderings for the new Fitness and Wellness Center were also displayed and discussed. The new center will be located on the first floor adjacent to the Mariners Courtyard and will feature three convenient points of entry including easy access to the Men’s and Ladies Locker Rooms. Amenities will include spinning bikes, treadmills, free weights and other cardio equipment. The FWC will be open 24 hours a day and will provide towels, as well as beverages and small food items in a graband-go format, this project is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019. L-R: Rev. Walter and Carolyn Schmidt with Priscilla Schaupeter

L-R: Dianna Smith, Wayne Wegner, Ron and Mary Lamparter L-R: John Mager, Commodore Ilja Vreeken, Rear Commodore Gary Marowske and Jason Grobbel

Commodore Ilja Vreeken addresses the Founder’s Club members



Christmas Eve Family Dinner

Tom Kliber with sister Elizabeth Kliber

Photography by John F. Martin

New Year’s Eve

Vreeken Family

Knapp Family

Taryn Simon with daughter Mackenzie Filipof Family


Panagopoulos Family

L-R:Catherine Zatkoff and Michael Rennell with Matt and Kate Rumora

Amanda Vintevoghel with her mother Kathy Vintevoghel

Holiday Wine Tasting

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L-R: Nino Cueter and Chis Rodriguez



Members Travel Near and Far for 2018 Rendezvous Rendezvous are Fun Gatherings for Boaters and Non-Boaters Alike By Claire Rundquist

Up North

The Up North Rendezvous Weekend took place at the Killarney Mountain Lodge this year from July 31 to August 3. Activities included dinghy tours, hiking, fishing, and other fun events for the GPYC’s outdoor-loving members. Around 35 boats and more than 80 people attended the Up North Rendezvous this year, making it one of the most popular rendezvous weekends of the season, and the best attended Up North Rendezvous to date. The beautiful north country scenery and ideal weather conditions made for a spectacular get away for GPYC members.

Old Club

According to GPYC member and organizer Elyse Trupiano, “another lovely cooperative summertime boating event, involving two of the most beautiful and oldest clubs of Michigan” went off without a hitch. The Annual Old Club Dinner Cruise rendezvous took place on Thursday, July 12 last summer, and was very well attended with 10+ GPYC boats and 97 attendees, 79 of which were GPYC members. Members arrived around 5 p.m., and after a funpacked night of activities, many stayed the night. Activities included a Boardwalk Cottage Tour, a cocktail party at the River Bar, a strolling dinner with live music and dancing, and fun giveaway prizes for guests. The food was delicious and dinner options included the Old Club’s famous fresh perch, a carving station, two fabulous dessert bars, as well as salad and pasta stations. GPYC members were also welcomed to enjoy golfing or trapshooting both Friday and Saturday.


Milliken Park

The William Milliken Park Rendezvous weekend was September 14 through 16 last year at the William Milliken Park Marina, just a short boat trip for members down the Detroit River. The weekend began with a barbeque dinner Friday night, catered by Lakeland Catering, followed by a fun euchre party later that evening. There were 22 GPYC boats in the marina by Friday evening, and 54 members attended the barbeque. On Saturday, members were encouraged to stroll through Eastern Market, bike the Dequindre Cut, and explore downtown with fellow rendezvous attendees. Saturday evening, members gathered for a quick dinner and then headed off on the “Drunks of Antiquity” Pub Crawl through downtown Detroit, hosted by the Detroit Bus Company. Fiftyfour GPYC members also attended the pub crawl, making it one of the best attended rendezvous events of the year. The weather was unseasonably warm throughout the whole weekend, and it was an exciting “stay-cation” for everyone who participated. Member Sue Bracciano said the event “has quickly become the most popular rendezvous of the season,” and that it is “a must-attend event for all boaters and non-boaters.”

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

On Friday, November 2, the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) hosted approximately 50 GPYC members for cocktails and dining as the first night of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Rendezvous. Members were served a great buffet of apps, salads, and several main courses such as fish, pasta and prime rib.

Member Mark Peyser remembers that it was “a great out of town event for those who were in Fort Lauderdale for the boat show,” and that “Lauderdale Yacht Club did a fantastic job. The cuisine was delicious and their location is spectacular. A good time was had by all.” Because so many GPYC members have made a tradition of heading to Florida annually for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, this event was held for many years at other locations in the Fort Lauderdale area. Usually at restaurants or on dinner boat cruises, it was a hit when it was held, but until last year hadn’t been held for some time. So, this year it was decided to resurrect the event at LYC, as their hospitality, cuisine and location are second to none. Members were very warmly received by LYC staff and members, and the event will be happening again at LYC in 2019. Saturday, November 3 marked the second evening of this special two-day event in Fort Lauderdale, with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Florida home of

perched atop the hill where a large porch allowed you to view all of the boats with ease and featured sunsets for all to enjoy. The club’s owner, Jim Stouffer, personally made an appearance to slice the roast beef and socialize with the GPYC members that night. It was clear Mr. Stouffer took great pride in his Club and wanted to be sure our members received extra special treatment. Sometimes even the weather is not enough to keep GPYC members at bay, not even a boating rendezvous would go without play!

GPYC members Andy and Betsy Housey. After a full day of Boat Show activities and entertainment, a smaller group of GPYC members gathered for a relaxing evening of food, drinks and fun.

Bayview Dinner

Bayview Yacht Club is one of the most famous sailing clubs in the world, hosting some of the most prestigious regattas and home to some of the most talented sailors. Each year, Bayview hosts the longest fresh water race in the world from Port Huron to Mackinac Island. It is also a very convenient destination for boaters on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. GPYC made the trip for a dinner cruise in August, and Bayview did not disappoint. The outing included a tour of the historic clubhouse, a four-course dinner and Hummers for dessert. The Hummer Cocktail was invented by longtime (over 50 years of service) Bayview Bar Manager Jerome Adams in the late 1960s and is still the most popular attraction today.

Catawba Island Weekend

A few days prior to this trip in July, reports predicted rough seas on Lake Erie. This caused several boaters to cancel their plans, but eight boats endured the journey along with several other families who drove down. While the weather was not ideal, the group made the best of what would become a worthwhile and entertaining weekend. Our boaters received a warm welcome at the Burgee Bar, which felt like an antique saloon. Its dark wood décor and ship wreck artwork made for good conversations, and the Club provided hors d’oeuvres and some of their signature cocktails. Catawba is made up of a large inland harbor, a golf course, a vast property which includes homes and condos along Lake Erie. The Clubhouse was a good mix of new and old with well-appointed areas of activity. At dusk, the group gathered around

In-Harbor Rendezvous several clusters of fire tables and cozy couches overlooking the bay. The kids who attended had a blast making s’mores, and some adults joined in too! The next morning, there was more rain, but that did not stop our group. Everyone met back at the Burgee Bar for some champagne mimosas to get the party started. Almost on cue, the rain gave way to bright sunshine, and the pool became the spot. Some enjoyed the sunshine at the pool, others went golfing. There was a complimentary shuttle to go explore Port Clinton and the shopping scene. Perhaps most unique, there was a nearby In-Car African Safari which several went to see. Later on that evening, the group reunited at Catawba Islands Harbor Room for dinner. This venue was rather interesting due to its location

With a sold-out harbor, the members of the Rendezvous Committee had the creative idea to host a Rendezvous right here at the Club. Everyone was so excited for a busy summer, and what better way to celebrate than to showcase some of our signature amenities. On Friday, June 22, the weekend kicked off with an evening cocktail party at the Marine Activity Center complete with live entertainment courtesy of our own Board Member Bruce Knapp and his fantastic band. All partygoers were greeted at the door with commemorative wristbands and assorted gifts for the entire family. The weather was picturesque, and the dancing didn’t end till after midnight. On Saturday morning, members woke up to a Bloody Mary/Mimosa Bar setup at the Family Recreation Center. The FRC hosted an array of activities that morning and afternoon including bocce, mixed doubles pickleball tournament, tennis drills, fowling, and kids’ activities near the splash pad and playscape. Finally, that evening the Pool transformed into a movie theater with a Dive-In Movie and movie-themed popcorn and candies. Kids brought all kinds of inflatables and had a blast while their parents enjoyed a relaxing night at the Gazebo Bar.



Amanda Vintevoghel Amanda an attorney at the Dragich Law Firm PLLC has received the 2018 Turnaround Management Association “Top of the Class” award. The award is given to professionals who have reached a significant level of success in the turnaround and restructuring industry before the age of 40. In addition, Amanda was selected as a “Rising Star” by Michigan Super Lawyers. This recognition is awarded to only 2.5 percent of attorneys in Michigan who “exhibit excellence in their respective practice.” The Dragich Law Firm PLLC is a boutique corporate and business law firm located in Grosse Pointe, Amanda Vintevoghel with TMA Michigan, specializing NextGen President Jason Weiner in business restructuring issues.

Steven Simmons Steven, CEO of Corporate Optics and Staging Optics, received an Emmy for his work with the Beatification Mass for Father Solanus Casey at Ford Field on November 18, 2017. A beautification is the last step before Sainthood in the Catholic Church, and this was only the second ever to take place in the United States. This special Mass – which included a large choir, cantors, several dozen musicians and thousands of priests – took place in front of more than 50,000 and was also broadcast to over 260,000,000 potential viewers on


Dr. Lisa Manz-Dulac Dr. Manz-Dulac, of Eastside Dermatology, went on her fifth medical mission trip to Haiti from June 17-24, 2018 with Haiti Africa Relief Team (HART). Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in the Western Hemisphere. Manz-Dulac was accompanied by two of her sons – TJ Dulac, a sophomore at Deep Springs College in California, and Dominic Dulac, a junior at Grosse Pointe South High School. This is the second trip for TJ and Dominic. They were part of a 28-person team of physicians, a dentist, nurses and college and high school students. The group provided health care and humanitarian aid to over 1,500 patients in the community of Morne L’Hopital, using donated medications and supplies worth over $650,000. They also spent a day at the Infants of Jesus orphanage, which provides a home to over 120 children, and provided care while also loving and playing with the kids. “Many people have commented how blessed the Haitians are to have us visit them, but in fact all of us on the mission feel far more blessed by the love, faith, hope and joy bestowed on us by the Haitian people,” four networks and the internet. Getting a venue ready for such an event is already a monumental task. However, the Hob Nobble Gobble fundraising carnival at Ford Field the evening prior to the beatification made it a challenging feat, leaving only 12 hours to ready the stadium for the important event. That’s where Corporate Optics comes in. To overcome these challenges, hundreds of hours of detailed technical planning were essential for both video and audio. Corporate Opitics received the Emmy for producing the live program and broadcast of the event globally.

Dr. Lisa Manz-Dulac in Haiti with sons TJ (left) and Dominic (right)

said Manz-Dulac. She and Dominic are excited to return again with HART this June. HART is a Catholic non-profit organization founded after the 2010 Haitian earthquake whose mission is to bring Jesus’ love and healing to the people of Haiti. If you would like to learn more about HART or help support our mission, go to or to the H.A.R.T. Facebook page.

Steve Simmons with the Corporate Optics Team received an Emmy for their work on the Father Solanus Casey beatification.


Who is This Man and Why Should We Care? Surprising people, stories and events from our past.


is name is Robert George Marsh (“George” to his friends). Not only does he hold the distinction of being our first commodore, in 1914, he is also one of our two longest serving chief executives. Mr. Marsh held office from 1914 to 1918 and from 1925 to 1926. (His successor, Harry Jewett, served from 1919 to 1925.) As commodore, Marsh provided our fledgling club with its first meeting place by offering up his summer home at 840 Lake Shore. In 1915, he struck a partnership with Grosse Pointe Shores that allowed members of the Club to dock their boats at the Village’s newly constructed pier. (It’s a relationship that endures to this day.) Later, in the mid-1920s, he was one of the driving forces that cleared the way for the building

of the GPYC clubhouse, harbor and grounds. At 44 years of age, Marsh was something of an “old man” among the Club’s founding fathers, most of whom were in their twenties and thirties, even their teens. But it was undoubtedly his maturity and standing as a successful Detroit business owner that made him a natural leader. Com. Marsh’s most important quality was his love of the water, a passion that profoundly shaped the young club’s DNA. In an era when pleasure boats were something of a rarity, Marsh pursued sailboating, powerboating and iceboating. In 1919, he won the Great Lakes Championship in his 45foot motor yacht, Miss Grosse Pointe, shown here. Three years later in Florida, in a sailboat, he won

the Saturn Yachting Trophy. And while Com. Marsh may have been a bit long of tooth for the rigors of iceboat racing, he is nevertheless seen standing on the ice in old photos as the official starter of these events. The lawn of his home on the lake was strewn year-round with small boats, and the walls of the home were covered with boat pictures of every description. He was truly a boater’s boater. In addition to helping found the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Com. Marsh was a respected member of the Detroit Yacht Club and the Detroit River Yachting Association (DRYA), serving as its commodore on three different occasions. In 1919, he was named commodore of the Inter-Lakes Yachting Association (ILYA). All four organizations, as well as the old Marsh home on the lake, still stand today. We can be proud to have Com. Marsh as our first and longest leader. Want to learn more of our heritage? See the GPYC Centennial History Book available in the Lobby.

By Past Commodore James L. Ramsey


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2019 Spring Grosse Pointer - Grosse Pointe Yacht Club  

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