San Marco Catholic Church was overflowing on Friday, January 28 for the annual Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron Wine & Hors D’oeuvres Party. From the moment guests stepped in the parish hall doors they had a chance to win, their ticket stub entering them in a prize drawing. The ultimate goal of this fun-filled event was to raise funds for squadron missions, such as boating safety; vitally import for us islanders who spend so much of our time on the waters that surround us.
The party gave guests many opportunities to become winners that evening- continuous raffles, two 50/50 drawings and door prizes. For more than two hours numbers were called as the raffles were drawn, shouts of glee periodically filling the room. Fifty silent auction items displayed on tables circled around the stage; lighting, ceiling fans, hockey tickets, gym memberships, limousine trips, boat rentals, and restaurant gift certificates from many local favorites. Undeniably the star of the silent auction was a dramatic five-foot fire pit, valued at $5,000. Bidding was competitive.
Over 400 guests roamed the large hall, table totable, tasting the never-ending variety of appetizers and snacks, continuously filled by the many squadron volunteers.
The room buzzed with the excitement of the raffles and the movement of people from table to table. Event committee co-chairs Gene and Wanda Burson did an amazing job of making the party fun and exciting- all while raising funds for the Squadron’s missions. Gene told us that, “it takes 40–50 volunteers the night of the event to make everything run smoothly.” Which it did.
Gene added, “We both want to thank all of the businesses on Marco Island that contributed so generously.”
During the evening guests had the opportunity to speak to Power Squadron members to learn more about the non-profit organization and its many services on Marco Island. The Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron is a unit of the U.S. Power Squadron, an educational, social and service organization, which is the largest non-profit boating organization in the country.
The Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron is dedicated to boating safety. One of the important services that they provide, free of charge, is a vessel safety check. Boat owners, forthe safety of themselves, their family and friends, are encouraged to contact the Power Squadron and make an appointment. There is no drawback to learning how your vessel can be safer, as there are no consequences to boat owners whose vessels don’t pass the safety check.
Another public service the Power Squadron provides to the Marco Island community is a wide range of boating courses, further promoting safety through education.
There are many benefits to membership with the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. Gene tells us that, “the organization participates in many civic projects such as Meals of Hope, beach clean ups, fire/rescue CPR classes and many of the Christmas Island Style activities during the Christmas holidays. Lastly, members of the Squadron have a great circle of fellowship. We have cruises, luncheons, and Captain’s Meetings (social hours) where members and potential new members meet to enjoy each other socially.”
For more information on the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron go to: www. marcoislandsailandpowersquadron.org. To learn about membership with the Squadron, contact Pam Sander at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-973-0499. To schedule a free vessel safety inspection, contact Tom Ryan at 908-432-8767.