Never too old to catch a wave
Last year, the Storm Lake Kiwanis Community Sailing academy launched 150 young people into the waves, and this year's program is about to set sail with its keel cutting even deeper aspirations.
"It's been all volunteer-driven, and it's been very gratifying to see how well the community has taken to the sailing programs," said Rick Peterson, founder of the sailing classes.
Before the first students lift anchor, however, the Kiwanians will need some help from the community.
"Right now, we have a real need for five boat hoists and a small chase and safety boat, even a small aluminum fishing boat would work. If anyone can spare such a boat or a hoist, it would be very helpful to the cause," Peterson said. To loan or donate, contact Peterson at 732-2663. Donations are tax deductible through Kiwanis Foundation.
Information on the sailing classes is available from the chamber of commerce, 732-3780, or on the new website, slsailing.com.
Students can sign up now for youth sailing classes being held weekdays June 14-25, with both morning and afternoon sessions available.
A second set of classes is scheduled for June 28-July 10 (with no class on July 5.)
Last year several adults joined the classes or expressed an interest, so this season an Adult beginner's sailing class will be held evenings June 14-18, and again June 29-July 2.
Cost for any set of classes is $100.
Community sailing events will also be held with area church and youth groups starting July 7. Some past students of the sailing academy are now hosts to take the young people on their sailing excursions.
For Peterson, a longtime sailing enthusiast, it's a joy to see the colorful sails popping up on Storm Lake again.
"I'm just a sailor at heart. I always thought it would be fun to be involved in teaching kids to sail, and last year really proved that people enjoyed the opportunity to learn right here," he said. "I'll make you a promise - for all of us who had fun messing around in boats when we were kids, it's still just as good today, and there's nothing stopping us from learning this skill ourselves, or giving the opportunity to our children or grandchildren."