Sunnyland/Blue Ridge Marine Corp Air Station Weekend, April 7-10, 2011
On April 7, approximately 22 boats and 50 boaters made their way to Jacksonville, North Carolina for a once in a lifetime event at the Marine Corps Air Station. This event was organized by Sunnyland Members Randy and Ginger Clark in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Chapter.
Chapters and boats attending were from Blue Ridge, Sunnyland, RDC/Triangle, Chesapeake Bay, Indian Lake and Water Wonderland. It was the first time an antique boating event has been held on a Marine Corps base, and the results were magical.
Upon arrival, attendees were treated to luxurious accommodations in the NCO Officer’s suites, and on Thursday night enjoyed cocktails and dinner at Sywanyk’s Scarlet and Gold Traditions Club. The Sergeant Majors collection of Marine Corps memorabilia was a huge hit, as many of the boaters in attendance were veterans of military service.
On Friday, the Boaters met at the marina, where they learned that the potential government shutdown had almost caused the event to cancel. Thankfully that did not happen, and 68 local schoolchildren enjoyed assembling and painting wooden boat kits. Boats were launched, and headed off for lunch on the New River to the Marina. That evening, a BBQ was enjoyed, along with a “pot luck” auction where all boaters brought an item to be auctioned. There was an assortment of interesting items, one of the most interesting was magnum bottles of “Jarhead Red” wine, made by Marines for Marines. Proceeds of over $700.00 were collected for the Wounded Warriors.
As a special treat after the auction, Chris Smith of Chris-Craft boat fame gave a talk about Chris Craft Boat Company with special attention to their involvement during WWII.
On Saturday, over 500 Marines and their families arrived at the marina for a fun day of showing off boats, offering rides, and doing what the group came to do….saying “Thank You” to our Marines and their families. The smiles on the faces of children (and adults) when they returned from boat rides made all the planning and travel worthwhile. The boats stayed in the water until the last Marine was given a ride. Tim and Terry Ross tirelessly gave rides and made sure everyone had a great ride on their Jersey Skiff “Jitterbug”.
Saturday night was dinner at the Officer’s Club. There was wonderful food, music from “The Conductors”, and lots of dancing, with even a Conga Line!
Richard Cole presented the Blue Ridge with a paddle commemorating the event; which in turn was presented to Randy and Ginger Clark for pulling off such a wonderful event. Special Thanks to all at NRAS for all their hard work for making this event one that will not soon be forgotten.
In Ginger’s words “we believe that this event has lived up to the ACBS Mission Statement – which is as follows”
To bring people together with a common interest in historic, antique and classic boats, sharing fellowship, information, experience and exchange of ideas.
To protect the heritage of boating by promoting, first the preservation and, secondly, the restoration of historic antique and classic boats.
To promote, further and encourage a love and enjoyment of all aspects of historic, antique and classic boating.
Well done, Ginger and Randy – “OORAH!”
The complete article “Reflections of Marine Corps Air Station” can be read in the Sheerline. Special Thanks of photos taken by Bob Miracle at Miracle Photography. Complete photos of the event (along with other Classic Boating Events) can be viewed and purchased at www.miraclephotography.smugmug.com