Sailing school finds a homeThe fledgling St. Croix Sailing School has found a home. After being denied use of a Lakefront Park site for storing its youth-training sailboats, the school has secured property just across First Street from the boat landing for its base.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The fledgling St. Croix Sailing School has found a home.
After being denied use of a Lakefront Park site for storing its youth-training sailboats, the school has secured property just across First Street from the boat landing for its base.
The owners of the mostly vacant River City Center building are providing the site free of charge.
“It took just one phone conversation. They were very supportive,” reported Paul Paulisich, a Hudson resident and vice chair of the school’s eight-member board of directors.
Weeklong classes for beginning sailors ages 7 to 17 will start Monday, June 15.
The fee for a class, which will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, is $195.
But Paulisich said the school’s goal is to not turn away would-be sailors because they can’t afford the class fee. Parents will be asked to contribute what they can if they don’t have the money to pay the stated fee.
The school is the brainchild of Paulisich and Lakeland, Minn., resident Jon Morris, chair of the school’s board of directors.
The two are members of the St. Croix Sailing Club based at Hudson’s St. Croix Marina.
Morris was impressed with the program his son had gone through at the White Bear Lake Sailing School. Paulisich wanted his two young children – and other Hudson youth – to have the opportunity to take similar classes in Hudson.
“He (Morris) and I kicked it around for the past three years. Last November, we finally decided, let’s do it,” Paulisich said.
The two recruited six other board members and began raising money to purchase the 8-foot Optimist Dingy and 14-foot Club 420 sailboats that the students will learn to sail in.
Paulisich said the school is halfway or more to its goal of raising $165,000 to buy the sailboats and other equipment. The class fees will cover the wages of the trained, mostly college-age instructors.
“People have been very supportive,” Paulisich said of the fundraising effort.
A gathering at the St. Croix Marina Clubhouse on Sunday brought in $25,000. Barker’s Bar and Grill and San Pedro Café provided the food, Casanova Liquors furnished the wine and Sam Twin Salter entertained with music.
St. Croix Sailing School initially approached the city about using an area on the south side of the Buckeye Street garage for the storage of its sailing boats.
The Park Board endorsed the idea, but the City Council was leery about setting a precedent of allowing organizations exclusive use of park property.
The council encouraged the sailing school to find private property to store its boats on.
Tim Delaney and Mary Senkus are the other Hudson residents on the school’s board of directors.
The non-Hudson residents on the board – Morris, John Larson, Lee Baker, Tom Vandervoort and Eric Sonstegard – all are members of St. Croix Marina.
A schedule and information about the classes that will be offered this summer are available on the school’s Web site, www.saintcroixsailingschool.org.
The Web site also contains a registration form and contact information.