Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ERIE YACHT CLUB Charity Regatta Event To Support THE BRIG NIAGARA!

The Erie Yacht Club will be hosting an evening reception and charity regatta to help support the Brig Niagara. This "PULL TOGETHER ERIE" benefit is set for Tuesday, May 5th, and is open to the public. This "Pull Together" event will be the first of two events to be held by the Yacht Club for the Brig.

PULL TOGETHER ERIE will be an evening cocktail reception that will commence at 6:00 p.m. in the Grill Room of the Erie Yacht Club. The evening will include a cash bar with Hor d'ouerves, a silent auction of Flagship Niagara artwork, and a keynote address from the noted maritime historian and Senior Captain of the Flagship Niagara, Walter Rybka. Local politicians and area business leaders are expected to be on hand. The evening will conclude around 8:30. A suggested donation of $10 per person is strongly encouraged by the organizers.

The first annual FLAGSHIP NIAGARA REGATTA will be held on August 9th. The regatta will actually use the Niagara as the committee boat with the entire EYC racing fleet sailing around the ship that will be docked in the middle of Presque Isle Bay. The Erie Yacht Club has extensive experience conducting charity regattas, some of which have raised funds in excess of $50,000 for the non-profit benefactor for a single day event.

The Erie Yacht Club is proud to be an eager supporter of the Flagship Niagara. Many of us who appreciate the Brig's important part of the community are very grateful to the Erie Yacht Club for its efforts in supporting the ship. I you, as a reader, also want to help support this ship but are unable to attend either of these events, please consider signing a petition that will be sent to Governor Rendell, the members of the Pennsylvania Legislature, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to help keep the Flagship Niagara sailing and preserve her sailing programs.


For further information on the Erie Yacht Club events please contact the following:

Erie Yacht Club
Mr. Douglas Boldt, Event Chair and EYC Board of Directors
T: 814-602-1554
E: douglas@boldt.us

Flagship Niagara League
Mr. Brian Scott, Board Chair
T: 814-440-4084
E: bscott8@adelphia.net

Friday, April 17, 2009

Presque Isle State Park Spring Clean Up!

Its that time of year again! The sun stays out longer, the leaves start unfolding, and the flower begin to bud. Every year after the harsh storms of winter have passed it leaves quite a large amount of debris and trash on the shores. This year's clean up at Presque Isle State Park will be held April 25th from 9am - 1pm. (Stay longer if you want to!) The Presque Isle staff, The United Way, and Take Pride in America will be hosting the event. Registration will begin at 9:00 am at the Rotary Pavilion. There will be food provided and door prizes at 12:00 pm. Make sure you are prepared for our Erie weather and bring a long the kids! This is a wonderful event to involve kids of all ages and organizations!

Lake Erie Beach Glass and family will be out and about on the beaches of the park a long side other volunteers who care about keeping the beaches clean. If you are local or maybe even live a bit further away, we would love to see you help out. If you spot one of us, make sure you stop and say hi!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Erie's Brig Niagara, "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP!"

I was so saddened to see the headliner of The Erie Times News last Wednesday, March 25th that read, "Plans for U.S. Brig Niagara's sailing season could be sunk." The large vessel that Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry once sailed during the war of 1812 has been sailing the Erie Bay and visiting ports all over Lake Erie and the Eastern Sea Board for a decade now. That battle turned the tide for the American Naval fleet who ended up winning the war. It's beauty and inspiration as you see it glide by the beaches in full sail is like no other. It takes your breath away. State government cuts threaten the brig's ability to sail and its future.

Many who live in Erie probably remember the brig when it was dry docked and viewable on land. It fell into disrepair and was almost completely lost. The restoration of the brig created excitement and hope. The brig IS a symbol of Erie and the Lake itself. In economically hard times, we need a symbol such as the brig and letting her go would be like giving up.

The brig needs 1 million dollars of funding for upkeep, maintenance, and sailing. It is currently docked at the Erie Maritime Museum, located on Erie's bayfront at 150 E. Front St. When docked, the ship is available for museum visitors to explore. What a wonderful opportunity to see the inside of the ship and to get an idea of what the men under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and Perry himself would have experienced while sailing the flagship.

One million dollars seems like a lot of money, I would agree. But, when I saw the very next day's headliner in the paper it didn't seem like such a large amount and I became angry. The headline reads, "Sinnott presents $170M wish list." The mayors wish list from the estimated $170 million stimulus funding does not include the Brig's mere 1 million. Instead the list includes renovations of Tullio Arena, Perry Square, Griswold Park, and a NEW EMTA garage among others. You mean to tell me that in this plan there isn't any room for 1 million to go toward the symbol of Erie?

It is my hope that as many citizens who love the brig as much as I do will become aware and get involved with saving our ship. There is a facebook page dedicated to the cause. Help us save the Brig Niagara. Let your thoughts and feelings be heard. Visit the cause site and remember, "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP!"