On Saturday, Jan. 24, the Marco Island Yacht Club will hold its gala annual event, the Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball. New officers will be installed at the formal and festive event, which will be held in the Harbor Dining Room, overlooking the yacht basin, the Marco River and the Jolley Bridge spanning the river.
In preparation, Clubhouse Manager Tom Leonard and his staff are planning for more than 80 members and guests. Dress is formal, with gentlemen wearing either the MIYC club uniform or black tie.
The time-honored installation ceremony, Change of Watch, is based on the military tradition in which responsibility, authority and accountability are transferred from the current leader to the new commander. At the Marco Island Yacht Club, this is signified by lowering the Past Commodore’s burgee (triangular flag) and replacing it with the new Commodore’s burgee.
Outgoing Commodore Robert DeFeo will hand over command to the new Commodore Dick Irwin. Other officers to be installed are Vice Commodore Randy Harris, Rear Commodore Lois Dixon, Extended Cruise Captain Lee Harkness, Day Cruise Captain Jim Ferry, Sailing Captain Chuck Downton, Port Captain Kathy Hershberger, Safety & Training Officer David Everitt, Chaplains Steve Schoof and Jan Werson, and Florida Council of Yacht Clubs Representative and its current commodore, Gary Riss.
The Commodore has overall responsibility for the cruising fleets, sailing regattas, boating programs, matters relating to the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs and social activities. Commodore Dick Irwin will swear to uphold the MIYC mission statement, “To provide an outstanding boating, social, and dining environment that is friendly, comfortable, affordable and invites participation.”
The festivities commence at 6 PM with cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres, followed by dinner featuring Beef Wellington and Grilled Gulf Scrimp prepared by MIYC’s celebrated chef, Bob Aylwin. After the installation of the Bridge, the club members and their guests will enjoy dancing to the music of Greg and Claudia.
A private club since 2000, Marco Island Yacht Club is located at the foot of the Jolley Bridge. Currently, the membership includes more than 900 voting and dining members. According to Membership Director Jessica Rigor, membership opportunities are available in both categories, including the new Seasonal Membership, designed to interest part-time residents who wish to participate in all clubhouse and boating activities. MIYC is a member of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs.