Group Origins The South Shore Yacht Club Junior Program started in 1935. Yes, the club has been serving the community and teaching local youth how to sail for over 80 years.
William “Bill” J. Lawrie, a past commodore, and his pal Albert Nickel organized the program to help encourage the sport of sailing at a young age. They started small, meeting in Bill's basement on South Shore Drive. Their first junior commodore was Bill's son, William T. Lawrie. One of the first girls to join was Lois Lawrie Rehberg in 1937.
Committed Leaders The organization has operated continuously year after year growing in membership, experience, and camaraderie. Many South Shore Yacht Club members have been instrumental in the program's growth and development. A special shout-out goes to dedicated volunteers such as as Bill Lepthein, Carl Mueller Jr., Bob Blackwood, Roger Strube, Don Dillon, John Schmuhl, Helen “Cookie” Mueller, and Mike Blackwood. These admirable men and women devoted their time to help the program grow and prosper.
Humble Beginnings In the early days, the young sailors met wherever they could. They eventually upgraded to the "Shack" (which was basically a run-down shed) in the skid lot.
In 1937, when the present clubhouse opened, the kids were able to meet in the LILLY E Room. When that was booked, they fled to the clubhouse basement, floods and all!
A Place to Call Home Finally, in 1986, under the wise guidance of Junior Advisor John Schmuhl, the Junior’s program acquired their very own clubhouse–– a sweet cedar-sided trailer they called home until 2006. That's when Junior members financed and built a brand new clubhouse after 10 long years of fundraising.
Nonprofit Status Achieved Thanks to the brilliant Commodores Vic Weiler and Helen “Cookie” Mueller, the junior program officially reached nonprofit status in 2004, becoming the SSYC Junior Sailing Foundation, Inc. As a 501(c)3 the organization could receive tax-free donations to support their excellent youth sailing program and member activities.