Wind at Their Back: Celebrating a Strong Community Partnership, 70 Years in the Making

My wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating the installation of the new South Milwaukee Yacht Club officers on Saturday, including Commodore Bryan Gahan, who has been elected to a second year in the position.

It’s going to be a big year for the club in 2020, as it turns 70 with a big party tentatively planned for July 11. (Many more details to come on that.)

The club is making more than $500,000 in capital investments to their facility this year, including upgrades to their public fishing pier and their outer ring wall — not including another nearly $100,000 in fixes for damage caused by the winter storm earlier this month. (The club’s damage was included in Milwaukee County’s federal disaster declaration this week.)

The club’s slips are full, with a waiting list, and it’s easy to see why demand is high: Its people, the dedicated members and volunteers who filled the club at the event last weekend, including two original members.

I love this public-private partnership. The club leases its land and building from the city, and in return we get a terrific community asset built in the 1950s and maintained today by the hands of volunteers. The club also allows our fire department boat to dock and launch there.

South Milwaukee’s story is a strong one, and this facility is part of that story, a point of pride. Let’s tell that story as the club turns 70.

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