The weather has not been conducive for frostbiting, with high winds preventing sailing on several weekends. On Sunday, December 21st, three boats were out racing in 12-14 knot winds out of the west. There was a little chop on Manhasset Bay, and it was quite cold, and luckily there were no capsizes as the water temperature was 33(. The Race Committee was in full force with six members on Kraus' Kastle and three crash boats protecting the racers from harm. Hot dogs and hamburgers were the menu for the day, topped off with Barbara Schmidt's delicious and coveted brownies. Winners for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Eva Lund, 2. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. #511, Stephanie Baas/Dana Schnipper.
The upcoming schedule for the Frostbite New Year's Regatta:: Thursday, January 1, the Past Commodore's Race starts at 1p.m., followed immediately by informal racing. The next racing day is Saturday, January 3rd with racing starting at noon, followed by the traditional Wassail Bowl and the Frostbite YC Annual Meeting, to which spouses, children and friends are invited. Then on Sunday, January 4th, racing begins at noon, with the Awards Ceremony held at Manhasset Bay YC at the conclusion of the day's races.
SoundWater, an environmental group whose mission is to educate children and adults about the wonders and beauty of Long Island Sound and its watershed, serves many local communalities, including Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Southport. Through education, SoundWaters provides people with an understanding and awareness of the changes they can make in their lives and communities to restore, protect and preserve Long Island Sound and the environment. Located in Cove Island Park in Stamford, SoundWaters has many interesting, educational and fun activities for both children and adults. One of the more interesting offerings described in their activities and events brochure is a workshop for teachers that provides a customized teacher training on today's most creative ideas and concepts in environmental education. Offered at local schools or at the SoundWaters Center, these programs complement and enhance curriculum and classroom activities. Topics may include nature in the classroom, eco-art activities, field trip curriculum ideas and watershed education activities. For more information, call 203-406-3305, or online at www.soundwaters.org.
For all those of you who are interested in following the developments of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, they have a new and completely refurbished website. The breakdown of information is utilized to achieve even greater functionality and ease of use in page browsing. The use of special "Index Pages" has been adopted, where the main information of each section is presented in a comprehensive and cohesive way. All website information will be available in three languages: Greek, English, and French. The URL is: www.athens2004.com
Back on April 29, 1980, Chris Greicius' dream of becoming a police office was granted. Known as the "Bubble Gum Trooper," 7- year-old Chris, who had a life threatening medical condition, got his wish to ride in a police helicopter, thanks to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). One of the officers at the DPS arranged for a helicopter to pick up Chris and escort him around the city of Phoenix, landing at the DPS. Three squad cars and a motorcycle greeted the young "trooper," the first ever and only honorary state trooper in Arizona history. Seeing the excitement on Chris' face, one of the troopers decided to make this a magical experience for Chris. He contacted the uniform company that supplied uniforms for the DPS about making a small-sized uniform for Chris, and the owner, after hearing the story, stayed up all night with two seamstresses to tailor a highway patrolman uniform for Chris. On May 1 of that year, Chris was presented with the state's smallest official Arizona Highway Patrol uniform. There's even more. When Chris became fascinated with the motorcycle wings worn by the troopers, which needed to be earned by taking a proficiency test, the officers set up a motorcycle course where Chris could take his test on his battery-operated motorcycle. Needless to say, Chris passed with flying colors. The next day, Chris' health worsened and he was back in the hospital, bringing along his uniform that was proudly displayed in the window of his hospital room. While in the hospital, Chris was presented with his motorcycle wings. His smile lit up the room. The following day, Chris Greicius passed away, but not before having realized his dream. Thus, the Chris Greicius Make-A-Wish Memorial, later known as Make-A-Wish Foundation, was born. Since 1980 the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 110,000 children worldwide
Last November, the Make-A-Wish Foundation honored Caitlin Abruzzo, daughter of Joseph and Sharon Abruzzo of Manhasset, and the Port Washington YC for their outstanding contribution to its Foundation. Caitlin and many other young people at the PWYC organized an Optimist Regatta that raised $20,000 for the organization. Not only did the young sailors have a great time racing on Manhasset Bay, they raised awareness of the good works done by the volunteers at Make-A-Wish. Hats off to Caitlin and her friends who, by their hard work and example, showed the world the best side of sailing. They have made a difference and have helped Make-A-Wish fulfill their mission to "grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy."
Happy New Year to all. May all our readers have a safe, healthy and fun-filled year. May the coming year be filled with good winds, safe sailing, and lots of fun out on Manhasset Bay and wherever our sailing adventures take us. And let's hope for many more sailing-related activities like the one organized by Caitlin Abruzzo and her friends at the Port Washington YC.