Canyon Lake Yacht Club announces new events

Yacht Club members enjoy a Pirates & Wenches-themed cruise on the water. Photo provided by Ron Wilbur.

The Canyon Lake Yacht Club is back and ready to kick off its 2023 season with new events.

Following a couple of years of low membership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club’s membership is rebounding sharply with more than 100 members and several new events.

“We have a great new board, a dramatic increase in events for 2023, and the word seems to be getting out that this is the club to join if you love the lake,” Commodore Ron Wilbur said.

The Club lists 34 events for 2023, a more than 50 percent increase over the largest event year of 2011. In contrast, during the last two challenging years, the club held ten events each, with some being canceled due to unforeseen events.

The 2023 board members are, from left, Commodore Ron Wilbur, Purser Greg Doherty, Vice Commodore Rob Mora, Yeoman Diann Prince Oltman, Membership Chair Cindy Cameron, and Events Chair Lainie Cooney. Photo by Cindy Cameron.

“We felt like this year we could really break out with more fun on and off the water,” Vice Commodore Rob Mora said. “We have a ton of new events this year, like clinics to work on your boat, learning how to drive a boat, and decorating for the annual holiday Parade of Lights. The Clinic in June for Learning to Drive a Boat is targeted at youth 12 to 18 and will be used to launch our new Auxiliary Fleet for people in that age range. Of course, at the core of every event is safety as well as respect for the lake itself.”

Themed events for 2023 include cruises for St Paddy’s “Day-After,” Mardi Gras, Pirates & Wenches, Hawaiian Island, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Veterans Day, and even Coast Guard Day.

This year, the club is bringing back several events that were started just a few years ago, like Opening Day of Boating Season, Whale Hunt, and Waterfront Holiday Display Competition and Tour.

“We have lots of parties, cruises, music on the water, even costume cruises,” Events Chair Lainie Cooney said. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a boat. If you just want to be on the water, we have events just for you.”

In addition to its cruises and parties on the water, the Yacht Club hosts Lake Cleanup events. Volunteers travel around the lake to gather debris from the shoreline and waterfront parks. Over the years, the club has brought in hundreds of pounds of refuse for disposal.

The Yacht Club is known for its iconic holiday Parade of Lights Boat Parade. “The Yacht Club delights in producing the annual holiday Parade of Lights, and this year we have a plan to make it the best ever,” Wilbur said. “We solicited ideas from the community and, true to Canyon Lake form, Canyon Lakers contributed many wonderful ways to make the parade even better. We’re excited for this end-of-year holiday celebration to be the most memorable ever.”

Another long-standing tradition of the club is its scholarship program. The program provides scholarships to help deserving Canyon Lake students continue their education.

The Yacht Club invites everyone to join the club for fun, friends, and the enjoyment of the lake. Annual club membership is $15. Boat ownership is not required. “We have lots of boats,” Mora said. “We’ll find a way for everyone to get out and have fun.”

The club’s next event for members and guests is a Potluck Meeting and Stewardship Appreciation Dinner on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Eastport Activities Building.

The 2023 board includes Commodore Ron Wilbur, Vice Commodore Rob Mora, Yeoman Diann Prince Oltman, Purser Greg Doherty, Membership Chair Cindy Cameron, and Events Chair Lainie Cooney. “All board members have many years of history in the Yacht Club and in Canyon Lake,” Wilbur said. “All have extensive backgrounds in business leadership.”

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