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1956: several members of Sodus Bay Yacht Club (SBYC) joined together in a “Junior Sailing Committee”. Commodore Garrett Smith, Charles K. Bloomer, Richard Chittenden, Edward Sohmer, C. William Stuart and Lyman Stuart incorporated the Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association in March of that year as a 501c(3) educational organization. Rhodes Bantams were chosen for training. They could accommodate up to 4 students and provide experience with jib, main and spinnaker sails.



  • In 1963 the Board voted to increase the number of directors from 7 to 11.

  • Boats: Skimmer, 24 ft. donated by Lyman Stuart in 1964. SBYC leased Skimmer for its RC boat. This arrangement gave SBJSA the use of SBYC waterfront. Purchase of “Flippers” from Syracuse Yacht Sales in 1967.

  • Program: Number of students 112. Adopted junior curriculum from the Canadian Yachting Association.  Bus service ran Fleet B from Macedon to Palmyra, Newark, Lyons and Sodus Pt. SBJSA rented the East cottage (belonging to SBYC) for $200 to run the program. 1967 - Mr. Leland Lee donated a trophy for “Best all Around Crew.” Awards listed: Best Crew: Leland Lee crew; Best Seaman: Leland Lee; Dryer Cup: Dryer Cup Crew.

  • Notable: In 1965 John Newton deeded property on south end of Islay Island (Newark Island) to SBJSA.


  • Program: A/B Days continued – A is local kids, B is bus kids. Number of students is around 75 – 100. 1978 - Tuition rose to $125 per student. Research into a concentrated racing course resulted in a racing level within our curriculum. 1977 - First scholarship listed from Schlegel Corporation, awarded for tuition and transportation assistance.

  • Notable: Sale of property on Newark Island to Eugene VanVoorhis in 1971 for $8,000. 1973– No staff hired; summer program cancelled due to high water in Sodus Point. 1975 - Purchased the Harris cottage from Jerry Harris, owner of the neighboring Marina. Negotiated Lease Right Away for waterfront access with SBYC. Heidi Van Voorhis donated new “Leland Lee Skipper” and “Leland Lee Crew” awards.

  • Boats: Fleet listed as: (9) Rhodes Bantams, (5) Flippers,(3) 420’s, (1) canoe and dinghy. 1973 - Grant from Arcadia Foundation - $5,767 to replace the wood Skimmer with Aquasport 22 w/ I/O engine. SBJSA purchased first Lasers in 1974. Purchase of 2 used 420’s at @1200 each in 1975.


  • Program: Beginning of decade when A and B days are equally divided in student numbers.  Bus run – Penfield, leaving at 8 AM, Pittsford, Perinton, Macedon, Palmyra, Newark, Lyons and arrive Sodus Pt by 10 AM. 1986 - Intensive racing program starts; beginning of Instructor certification with US Sailing Level 1 and Level 2 guidelines. By 1987 - New program running with switch from A/B days to a new style of two 17-day sessions. The WATS Bus ran a summer route from Newark to Sodus Point, stopping in Sodus to accommodate our program for 2 years. Typical “special days” listed as:  Treasure Hunt, Chimney Bluffs picnic, Big Boat Day.  Adult Sailing Lessons added. Racing competition with Camp Corey, Skaneateles YC, and Ithaca YC.

  • Boats: Sale of last wooden Rhodes Bantam #868 to Bill Kallusch Boats in 1981. In 1982, effort began to raise funds for new fiberglass boats. Purchased (2) used glass Bantams from Dick Bessie, sailboards from Sills Marina. 1984: purchase of Boston Whaler “S.B.J.S.A.” from a fundraiser with group of individual and business sponsors. First of three Lasers, donated by the C.H. Stuart Foundation, arrives in 1989.

  • Notable: 1988 - First of the 4 years of SBJSA raffles to raise money for a new fleet of beginner sailboats. First raffle of a new J/24, chaired by Ginny and John Fowler, nets $5,000 and enables purchase of (2) new Optimist dinghies.  Second J/24 raffle was also a success – nets $8,927.17.  A missing picnic table has reappeared and the missing boat trailer that reappeared has disappeared again!


  • Program: Two levels of racing established. Three scholarships donated annually: Sodus Bay Historical Society, Sodus Bay Yacht Club and the SBJSA Board of Directors. “Dollars for Doers” Scholarship Grant received from Eastman Kodak in 1991. C.H. Stuart Foundation donated $1,000 in memory of Heidi Van Voorhis for scholarships. In 1998 - Wayne County Health Department’s first inspection began with SBJSA operation to be certified as a New York State Camp. 1999: SBJSA’s Procedural Manual approved for submission to NY State Dept. of Health. From now on, need to apply annually to operate the camp each summer, driven primarily by swimming instruction program.

  • Boats: Last 4 Flippers sold. Laser storage rack built for 1990 season.  Boats: Purchased 6 JY Trainers and Vanguard racing Optimist. Purchase program begins for JY/15 composite dingy sailboats to replace Rhodes Bantams. Also purchased Laser 4.7 rig and fabrication of 6 others. 1996 - Last 2 R.B.’s sold to Kallusch. Donated Boats: J/24 “Tweetie Bird”, by Lambert Lai & a Laser, by Doolittle Family.

  • Other Improvements: New cottage roof and new Optimist racks. 1997 - Werner Holtze fabricates Optimist trailer. Radios procured for communication between staff & cottage.

  • Notable - Annual Family Picnic and Raffles: 1991 Chaparral Boat with motor. 1995 – JY-15; 1998 Vanguard Optimist added. 1993 - LYRA at SBYC: SBJSA grants use of cottage and powerboats for RC help, also provides breakfasts and lunches as a successful fundraiser.  1994: SBJSA hosts US Sailing Level I Instructor’s Training for first of 10 years. Lucy Minahan is the Instructor Trainer from US Sailing Community Grant. Sears Cup semi-finals regatta sponsored by SBYC in July, SBJSA enters team.

  • Board: 1997 - Endowment Fund established by Board of Directors; $5,000 donated as memorial to William Stuart by C.H. Stuart Foundation. 1995 – first Long Range Planning Committee is formed.


  • Program:  Number of students- 100 – 115, with 13 - 15 staff and 4 to 6 C.I.T.’s. Scholarships awarded: Gloria Haney Scholarship, SBYC Scholarship, Sodus Bay Historical Society “Elsie Parsons Scholarship,” Straubing Family scholarship and Dick Brown Scholarship, given by Bob Bloomer.

  • Boats in the Fleet: (17) Optis, (4) H&H Optis, (6) JY Trainers, (7) Vanguards/racing Lasers, (16) camp Lasers, (6) JY 15s, (2) Whalers, (4) tins w/Johnson outboards. Boat donations: Carey Family – JY 15 with turbo rig, Abner Germanow - Laser, Amish family – a Thistle and $5,000 to honor Rick Amish, & Healy Family – tin boat w motor.

  • Board: 50th Anniversary Committee began meeting Oct. 2004, with Margaret Tiedemann and Nancy Ghertner chairing. Idea emerges to create a Legacy Committee to support development of Long Range Plan in honor of the 50th Anniversary. The plan is adopted in 2005 with goals of: new main facility to be built, new fleet of 420 sailboats, create an executive director position, establish boat replacement fund and a scholarship endowment fund. In 2006, established investment account with Morgan Stanley to enable donations of securities to SBJSA. Ordered new 420 from “Ready About Sailing” to initiate new fleet for the 50th. 

  • 2006: Celebration of SBJSA 50th anniversary!

  • A most successful anniversary fundraising campaign results in a fund balance that allows for the construction of a new Sailing Center building.

  • Senator Mike Nozzolio secures a $30,000 grant, administered through the Town of Sodus, for SBJSA construction.

  • 2006: New campus drawings and designs provided by Mark Vande. 2007: the “red cottage” is demolished and construction begins on new Sailing Center, with groundbreaking ceremony July 4th.

  • Designated funds from the Capital Campaign are used to establish an endowment with the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

  • Spring 2008: Dr. Lory Ghertner and John Hayslip manage and coordinate construction with a team of volunteers to complete the Sailing Center’s construction.

  • Three new 420s and 3 Opti dinghys purchased to build fleet.

  • New CH Stuart Foundation Sailing Center is dedicated on August 8th  2008 during the Annual BBQ.

  • The Bill Sill Memorial Trophy is dedicated at the 2009 Annual BBQ, donated by R. Fisk Hayden. Stu, Dawn and Susan Sill were on hand to receive and present the trophy.

  • 2009: Mike Foley builds a new trailer to haul (6) Lasers, or a combination of Lasers and Optis.


  • 2010: Richard Brown donates $15,000 to purchase a new 13’ Boston Whaler for the camp. Purchase is made in 2011 and the boat is christened as the “Richard R. Brown”. SBJSA begins 2 week session programming with open enrollment that enables a flexible participation schedule.

  • 2011: a large bequest from the Richard Brown estate allows the SBJSA Board to begin negotiations for the purchase of the old marina property located in front of the Sailing Center.

  • Robert Bloomer awards scholarships in the names of Kemp Bloomer, Richard “Dick” Brown, and Jerry Vonhold, to be used over 3 years, or until exhausted.

  • SBJSA continues to benefit from direct private contributions made through the United Way of Rochester.

  • In November of 2011, after efforts to purchase the property in conjunction with SBYC fail, SBJSA decides to purchase the marina property and adjacent parking lot parcels on its own. The offer is ultimately accepted for $150K and SBJSA takes possession in the Spring of 2012.

  • 2011: SBJSA conducts the first annual Golf Tournament fundraiser for program and scholarship support. Contributions from the CH Stuart Foundation enable purchase of (2) 15 hp Honda outboard 4-stroke engines for our aluminum boat fleet. The structure of the Board is formally revised to include (4) Flag Officers and (8) Directors, with specific roles and responsibilities identified for each position.

  • 2012: SBJSA begins a second Capital Campaign in the fall, led by Hank Stuart, in order to fund the development of the new property and advance the program.

  • 2013: With project management provided by Ed St. George & Mike Foley, SBJSA executes a waterfront seawall sheet piling project, installing over 200 feet of new sheet piling and fill along the south edge of the new property, adjacent to the existing seawall that is in very poor condition. With completion in the spring of 2014, the new waterfront area becomes known as “Richard Brown Landing”.

  • Fall 2013: a new SBJSA/SBYC Liaison Committee is formed to promote cooperation between the 2 organizations for the benefit of both. It is chaired by Ed St. George and includes 3 people from each organization. A combined calendar of events is published, RC equipment is shared and reduced rates are established for member use of certain services. A vision for a “Community Boating Campus” is created in 2015 and work begins towards implementation in 3-5 years if both Boards approve. 

  • 2014: The annual golf tournament is renamed in memory of beloved instructor Max Buzzell and chaired by Helen Buzzell. With contributions made in his name, (3) new flag poles and an “Awards Court” is designed by the SBJSA Alumni Design Team, then built and dedicated at the 2014 annual BBQ. Re-grading and some new stone complete preparation of the entire new property area. Contributions from the CH Stuart Foundation allow SBJSA to purchase another Honda outboard for our aluminum safety boat fleet.

  • 2014: First annual Alumni Regatta successfully held on the 4th of July, chaired by Sarah Costich-King and Owen MacDonald.

  • Aug 2014: an agreement is formalized with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Sailing Club for their use of SBJSA boats/facilities for 8 weeks in both the spring and fall; over 40 collegiate sailors participate.  SBJSA becomes their home base and team practices continue in 2015.

  • 2014: Steps to expand SBJSA’s program result in the need for more outside storage of small boats & equipment. John and Ginny Fowler donate the funds to have two large custom storage sheds constructed on the new property.

  • Spring 2015: SBJSA purchases (12) like-new C420s from Hobart-William Smith College. Custom, PT wood cradles are constructed by a volunteer team led by Mike Foley & Ed St. George to house all (18) 420s in the SBJSA fleet. A new travel trailer for the 420 race team is designed by Mike and Ed to carry 3 boats right side up. John & Ginny Fowler donate funds for the fabrication and the Triad trailer is delivered in April. New kayaks and standup paddleboards are purchased to enable the start of a new “adventure track” program to widen our curriculum offerings.

  • Spring 2015: Over 90 custom engraved pavers are sold and installed to complete the construction of the “Awards Court”.

  • The Stuart Foundation donates the funds for another (our 4th) new Honda 4-stroke outboard.

  • Gary Jobson, renowned sailor and author, presents a program hosted by RIT to benefit SBJSA. Proceeds in the amount of $5000 are added to the SBJSA Endowment at the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF).

  • New lettering over the main entrance to our main building identifies it as the C.H. Stuart Foundation Sailing Center and the new sheds are also identified for Laser & Opti equipment.

  • Summer 2015: SBJSA & SBYC partner to become the permanent hosts of the annual “Centrals on Sodus Regatta”, primarily a youth-centered event, keeping alive the Centrals Regatta that had been held annually in central NY for decades. US Sailing regional qualifiers for the Bemis and Smythe Youth Championships are held as part of the regatta this year, chaired by Mike Foley, with Hank Stuart as PRO. A record 88 boats and 150+ young sailors participate.

  • SBJSA Endowment funds in the RACF reach approximately $64,000. SBJSA Board votes to use a percentage to support annual scholarships as needed.

  • June 2016: a first-ever formal powerboat training session is conducted by Hank Stuart to successfully train our instructional staff in the safe operation and handling of our safety boats. An additional new Honda outboard is purchased. The old marina launch/haul “well” is filled in and a new sheet pile wall creates a barrier on the south end, creating needed land space for boat storage and improved safety. Using old dock sections donated by SBYC, a new 18’ x 32’ floating dock system is designed by Mike Foley, constructed and installed by a team of volunteers and put to good use off the south wall. Ed St. George works out a loaner program with SBYC for use of their Ideal 18s during SBJSA camp, providing a successful small keelboat experience for all campers. 

  • Fall 2016 – a commercially applied epoxy floor coating system is installed throughout the restrooms and shower areas in the CH Stuart Foundation Bldg.

  • In March, 2017, a new “Memo of Understanding” document is submitted by the SBJSA/SBYC Joint Liaison Committee to replace the expiring 10 yr Land and Facilities Lease Agreement between the two organizations. It is unanimously approved by the SBJSA and SBYC Boards, establishing the framework and specifics for a long future of cooperation between both organizations.  SBJSA members on the JLC continue to be Mike Foley, Patty Walsh and Ed St. George as chairman.

  • Spring 2017: Work is completed by Mike Foley and volunteers on the construction of an additional 6’ x 75’ floating dock system that is located off the beach for small boat use by SBJSA and SBYC. Our small utility trailer is also modified by Mike and volunteers with a custom rail mounting system so we can move all our outboard engines safely between the storage building, the safety boats and Arney’s Marina for maintenance. New pipe storage racks are designed and constructed for all our Laser and Opti sailboats and an additional Honda 9.9 hp is purchased via funds from the CH Stuart Foundation, completing the multi-year transition of all (6) aluminum safety boat engines to 4 stroke. A concrete foundation and pad is poured and a beautiful new timberframe pavilion is commercially built and erected in Marcus Costich’s memory using memorial donations and Costich family funding. A new concrete 4-Square Court is also built in memory of Heidi VanVoorhis, funded by her family’s donations. Over 70 boats make up the SBJSA fleet!

  • Summer 2017: Lake Ontario water levels reach a new all-time-ever high record in mid June (at 249.0 ft above sea level) and flood virtually all of SBJSA’s property for several weeks (except for our CH Stuart Foundation Bldg), along with Clover St and much of Sand Point. With terrific cooperation from Great Lakes Boat Repair, all our boats are temporarily moved to higher ground behind their facility. Our storage sheds are also relocated on our property to minimize exposure and create more useable land space. Thousands of sandbags are placed around waterfront properties, including many across our entire site and SBYC’s property next door. Although we’re forced to cancel Session 1, we manage to bring in 60 tons of fill gravel to raise a portion of our land area up higher, which allows us to run camp for Sessions 2 and 3, launching boats directly into the Bay off the sandbag wall near the beach! The Centrals on Sodus Regatta is moved to 2 area YCs, but by the 3rd week of July, we’re able to host our annual BBQ fundraiser with great success. In early fall, over 80 more tons of fill, stone, and topsoil are moved in place by Mike Foley, Ed St. George and other volunteers to completely recontour our entire property and SBYC’s neighboring lawn area, raising it by an average of 1-2.5 ft, depending on where you stand.

  • November 2017: to protect the Awards Court against future potential high water damage, a 24” high concrete wall “extension” is formed and poured by a group of volunteers on top of the existing concrete seawall that borders the court area to the west and south. Additional concrete is also installed across the entire, long peninsula area and 5 ft wide all along the perimeter of our remaining seawall perimeter. All this should reduce future flood damage risk. SBJSA submits a lengthy application to USSA and is awarded certification in early 2018 as a USSA Accredited Community Sailing Center, a noteworthy distinction. RIT continues to use SBJSA as its home base for fall and spring practice sessions.

  • 2018: propeller guards are installed on all of our safety boat outboard engines to provide better safety when approaching kids in the water. A formal CIT training process is implemented to ensure more consistent development of those who would like to become paid instructors. Expectations for members of our Travel Race Team (TRT) are documented, as well as new cell phone use and Youth Protection policies for staff and a revised TRT curriculum. With a year of normal water levels, camp enrollment returns to normal as well, with 140 kids attending. During the summer, we also successfully launch a new Community Boating membership program that enables students, adults and families to join SBJSA and utilize our facilities and fleet of boats during specific operational hours for 8 weeks.  Our basic mission is “access and education for all” and establishing a Community Boating Center at SBJSA is a key step in mission fulfillment.

  • 2019: as the Lake rises and another year of flooding begins in mid June, 3 catch basins w/ pumps and underground drainage piping are installed, which, along with another 200 tons of stone to raise sections of our property, enables us to keep the majority of our property free from water and camp opens on schedule.  We also install vinyl flooring in the staff room and kitchenette areas and build a raised flower bed area along the south and west sides of the CH Stuart Foundation Bldg. Through an increased fundraising effort, the number of scholarships we award rises to 16 children, up from our recent 5-yr average of 5-6.  A new contract is signed for the 2019-2020 academic year with the RIT Sailing Team to use our facilities and 420s in the fall and spring and, for the first time ever, we successfully launched a Fall Middle & High School Sailing program, with 11 students attending!

  • Fall 2019: in order to further protect our waterfront from future years of flooding and wave damage, a masonry contractor builds a 28” high concrete block wave-barrier wall across our waterfront, from the dinghy racks on the east side, westward to the seawall at the Awards Court (which is also raised another 12” to match).

  • 2020s

  • Winter 2021: SBJSA welcomes the first Executive Director to the organization's history.


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