MVP Helm Report: May 2021

Ahoy from the Bridge!

May was the MVP's "Count Our Blessings" month! First was the continuation of Dr. Henry Smith's sailing lessons. MVP students are very fortunate to be receiving training from this expert and the volunteering of his time is really appreciated.

Next is the success of our Name Your Boat campaign. It was learned that the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) would be holding an International Optimist Regatta (June 14-20) and over 90 Opti's were being shipped here. That meant the possibility of a savings (shipping for sure) and a purchase price was quickly negotiated with the builder. We then fired off an email blast to supporters and within a few hours we learned of several boats bring sponsored. Like magic... on Saturday, June 26th. our MVP students will be spotted sailing around the Mangrove Lagoon! Soon there will be a press release regarding the results of the campaign and our sponsors (4 so far!) will be credited. Sponsored boat names (or company logos) will also be added to both sides of these vessels.

Standby too... because due to this early June news posting, there is still the possibility of even more of these new/used Opti's being donated!

And the good news doesn't stop there! The MVP has just received a $4000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI). The purpose for the grant is to help with the cost of our summertime programming. The MVP provides vocational training on a year-round basis and adds additional days when school is out. Financial help with day-to-day expenses (lunches, boat/motor repairs, fuel, pool water/chemicals, part-time helpers, etc.) is certainly appreciated. We've built up a respectable training fleet... but the cost of operations has paralleled the growth. Many many thanks to the CFVI and to those who support that organization!

Getting there... The majority of the MVP students joined the program as pre-teens and several (now 15-17 years) are talking about finding part-time work. Naturally we're hoping they'll intern in the marine/tourism/hospitality industries and there has been many rountable discussions about work ethics, disipline and the expectations of future employers. It will be interesting to someday see the results of the MVP's training efforts and we thank everyone who has backed the program.