Time for independence

Published 12:58 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It looks like the Little Washington Sailing Club is on its way to becoming self-sufficient and a nonprofit organization.

That’s good news for the club, the Washington Harbor District Alliance (which has provided financial support during the club’s first three years of existence) and the community. Kevin Clancy, the club’s director, told the Washington City Council during its meeting Monday the club ended its third season with $4,575.91 on hand. He also said the club could be on its own financially in 12 to 15 months.

A self-sufficient Little Washington Sailing Club means the club would not be beholden to those who have provided its funding in the past, not that the WHDA and other funding providers tried to tell the club how to operate. The LWSC-WHDA connection has always been one of cooperation. A self-sufficient LWSC would mean the WHDA could use the funding it’s been providing to the club for other worthwhile WHDA projects.

The club’s 2011 season saw it instruct 79 students, 31 more students than in the 2010 season, according to Clancy. Seven of those 79 students this year received scholarships to attend sailing lessons. Fifty-nine of those 79 students were either from Beaufort County or Pitt County.

The club has plans for an enhanced 2012 season, after it makes repairs to boats and a dock damaged by Hurricane Irene and replaces two boats and equipment lost to the hurricane. The 2012 plans call for sponsoring a US Sailing instructor Level 1 course in May, hiring a new instructor and continuing the club’s swimming program and scholarship program for needy children.

The city and area residents should do what they can to help make the Little Washington Sailing Club self-sufficient. The club has proven its worth to the community.

It deserves a chance to stand on its own.