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     On Saturday, January 13, members of the MBYC gathered at Hideaway Beach Club as we welcomed our 50th Anniversary as a boat club. Our Gala Celebration started with a cocktail hour at 5:30 PM with our Commodore Frank Mulligan and Vice Commodore Rudi Landwaard welcoming our members as they arrived, handing each woman a rose and each man one of our specialty designed MBYC key chains. What a night was had by all. After cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served, our Commodore Frank Mulligan rang 5 bells as it was 6:30 PM and time for dinner. As everyone sat for dinner, our outgoing Commodore Mulligan and incoming Commodore Landwaard gave a champagne toast for the 50th Anniversary.

          “There are good ships and wood ships and ships that sail the sea,
                     but the best ships are friendships and may they always be”.

     Commodore Mulligan welcomed everyone in attendance including our special guests, Steve Stefanides of the Coastal Breeze & Janet Watson, P/C Ted Reiss & P/C Peggy Reiss representing the Marco Island Sail & Power Squadron, Deputy Commander & Mrs Robert Boone members of the Civil Air Patrol and V/C Jeffrey & Carol Comeaux with the Marco Island Yacht Club.  Also present were P/C Esther Blais and Bill Carroll, former members who have moved away from Marco but came to celebrate the kickoff of our Golden Anniversary Year. He then introduced his Bridge, committee chairs and other members of the board. He gave special mention to Dianne Kernan and Paul Krueger for their service to the board as the Class of 2017. He gave special thanks to Dan and Deb Lowell for their work on the website and creating the rosters. He also thanked Mike and Cindy Brown’s daughter Robyn for creating her phenomenal video presentation. Alan Sandlin gave an invocation and grace as dinner was now being served. The duo Cahlua and Cream played in the background while people were enjoying their dinner. As dessert was being served, Robyn played our special 50th Anniversary video. It started off with a photo gallery of our past Commodores. Next there were extensive photos of many of our long-range cruises, social events, day boat cruises and many other activities our members participated in during the year. Her presentation concluded with the clever “parody” using the names of many of our members’ boats. At the conclusion of the video our Commodore stated, ‘This is why we are known as the “fun club”.

     At this point Commodore Mulligan presented a $500 donation to the Civil Air Patrol, The Power Squadron and Coast Guard Auxiliary on behalf of our members for their efforts in boating safety and education. Steve Stefanides, a special guest, then made a presentation on behalf of the Christmas Island Style Committee to Bob Herndon for his many years participating in the boat parade with his “Tennessee Waltz” representing the MBYC.

     After his cemetery joke, our current Commodore Frank Mulligan announced our incoming Commodore, Rudi Landwaard and his lovely wife Dorothy who were piped in by our Chaplain Alan Sandlin to a standing ovation. Commodore Mulligan presented Rudi Landwaard with his star bar flag of office and gavel. Rudi then introduced his bridge and presented Vice Commodore, Sally Orth and Rear Commodore Larry Sacher with their star bars and flag of office. Commodore Rudi Landwaard then presented P/C Frank Mulligan with the Commodore’s gift and Commodorable Marianne with her gift.

     Cahlua and Cream then started rocking and rolling and had everyone up on the dance floor dancing. Many members danced until the end of the night at 10PM. A great time was had by all celebrating the start of our 50th Anniversary.

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