It’s that time of year — traffic on Overseas Highway is a little less congested and it seems the number of visitors is beginning to slow. Not so fast, say the folks at the Marathon Yacht Club (MYC). Take notice and be warned, we will be invaded from the north by land and water for the annual Florida Council of Yacht Clubs (FCYC) convention, set for Friday to Sunday, May 17-19. 

Plans have been laid to occupy a significant portion of our land mass as well as our harbors beginning around Wednesday, May 15. Scouts at the MYC predict over 100 of the FCYC invaders to participate in the intrusion.

The FCYC is made up of 36 yacht clubs located around the state, from the panhandle to the Keys. The member clubs represent a population of nearly 40,000 voters who have aided in bringing many legislative matters, favorable to the boating public, to a successful conclusion. For example, the council’s lobbyist helped to promote Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recommendation of $625 million of Everglades restoration and protection of our state’s water resources. This historic budget proposal will have a substantial impact on the water and quality of life in Florida. Really, the FCYC is looking out for all of us!

Established in 1960, the council is a respected force of dedicated yachtsmen. The council is an active member of water-oriented organizations such as the National Boating Federation. Close liaison is maintained with the U.S. Coast Guard in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami and the Corps of Engineers district office in Jacksonville.

The Marathon Yacht Club is a member of the FCYC and takes responsibility for the upcoming “invasion.” And, certainly, this stopover can’t possibly be ALL meetings and business. Many of our visitors have been here before.

“Be prepared and fret not,” says MYC Commodore Dave Ruesch of the MYC. “They are a friendly bunch, not here to pillage and loot our booty but to share good times, gladly leaving some of their gold behind on the rock.” 

More exposure for MYC furthers the local club’s ability to support its mission and community outreach. For example, the club founded and supports the MYC Educational Foundation, awarding scholarships, usually five, to Marathon High School seniors. The MYC operates the “Middle Keys Sailing “ a program teaching local kids sailing skills and marine science.  MYC also hosts an annual luncheon for Stanley Switlik Elementary students who excel at extracurricular reading. The program is a great success and kids are excited to dine at the club alongside their principal. Finally, the MYC Auxiliary holds fundraising events to support high school students as well as Healthy Start, which provides services and much needed support to pregnant women and families with newborns.

The members are proud to welcome our friends from the north. We intend to show them the town and Saturday’s trips to the Turtle Hospital and Aquarium Encounters promise to please and entertain. We would also like to invite locals to check out the Marathon Yacht Club. You know the one —  the little building with the blue roof at the end of 33rd Street gulfside. We do a lot of good things down there, and we have fun doing it.

— Carl Melchior is the MYC director.

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