MVP Helm Report: April 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

April was an active month! Along with the startup of the MVP's sailing program Happy Island Sailing Club (HISC), came the opportunity to offer after-school sailing lessons on Thursdays. Shortly after the announcement came the welcomed surprise that the accomplished Dr. Henry Smith had an interest in sharing his sailing expertise with our students! Imagine how proud we were to take photos and to see our newly acquired Melody sailing off under the direction of Dr. Smith. By the way, Smith also owns a Flying Scot that is often spotted sailing past our office windows. Thank you Dr. Smith!

Name Your Boat

There is even more excitement in the wind! June 14-20 the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) will be hosting the famed International Optimist Regatta and sailors around the globe will either be in attendance or watching the races on television. The upcoming event is a big deal and it's being viewed as an Opti-unity because we are hoping to acquire 2-4 of these newly/used craft for the MVP's sailing program.

The MVP is a 501 c-3 non-profit that can provide a tax letter to individuals or corporate interest for their donations. We are seeking donors who can provide a $2900 donation. Our Name Your Boat fundraiser will allow donors to name a training boat! The name will be displayed on the transom of the vessel and we hope to raise the needed funds by June 10th before these boats are shipped back to their manufacturer. Please write checks to: MVP, 6616 Estate Nadir, St. Thomas, VI 00802. Don't forget to provide a boat name because donors and their boat names will be listed on our website. The addition of these smaller (8') training dinghies will greatly improve student learning (eventually competing) and that is what the program is about!

MVP's Summer Programming: Summer is around the corner and its time to get out of the house! The MVP will be operating all day training (9:30-4:30) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The plan is to accept new students on Friday only, in order to allow our regulars to continue in their advancement without the distraction of those who are learning the basics (swimming, snorkeling, knot tying, splicing, etc.). As the newer can show that their abilities are advancing, they'll be invited to attend on additional days. Again, we are calling out for volunteers (sailing experts, educators, first aid instructors, grant writers, etc.) to give of their time and expertise. We've applied for summer grant funding that may or may not come about. The program is offered free of charge and we're going forward through thick or thin!

Pates In Parking Lot: Last Saturday (1st May), the MVP office was the busiest we've ever seen it! Students started showing up at 7:30 a.m. to work as a fundraising team. Some worked inside cooking down the meats and chopping the onions, garlic, peppers and rolling out the dough circles - while others were busy outside in the parking lot getting setup for the big sale. Soon passing drivers began noticing the roadside signs (seems we have artist among us!) and they stopped to purchase the freshly prepared choices of veggie, beef, grouper and shrimp pates. Written feedback:"We got the first 3 cooked and loved them." and "It was a pleasure to meet you and the team today. Pates were delicious, not too spicy and what a great pleasure and honor to meet such a nice group of people."

We also fitted in a birthday celebration for 10 year old Zoe (star swimmer) and Team MVP floats a boatload of thanks out to her parents for their hard work and supervision!

Straight Ahead!

Jimmy Loveland, Program Director