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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Sports, Swimming & Other Water Recreation

Mission: To promote sailing and to make Lake Michigan accessible to evreyone in the Milwaukee area through quality programs.

Results: In 2010 we opened a new educational building (with no debt) that allows us to expand our program offerings. We will host the 2013 US Disabled Sailing Championship.

Target demographics: Anyone in the greater Milwaukee area who wants to learn to sail.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 150 adults to learn to sail, 350 to improve their skills, over 230 children took lessons and almost 600 disabled adults got to sail.

Geographic areas served: Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Programs: Prams in the Park (ages 8-11), Youth Sailing (ages 9-17), Adult Sailing, Adpative Sail Program (for emotionally and physically disabled of all ages ). Our members actively help maintain the fleet, volunteering over 2,500 hours every year.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ahoy, Mates! For 15 years Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC) has provided me witha beautiful and safe opportunity to enjoy Lake Michigan and to share that joy with other people. As an MCSC member I have access to a variety boats that I can sail with other members or with my non member guests. Throughout the year MCSC offers learning experiences and sailing opportunities to become an accomplished sailor and to become a stewart for the survival of the Lake. Members can enjoy pleasure sailing, racing challenges and learning to be a volunteer instructor. The MCSC Youth program means the entire family can be involved. Outreach programs bring the sailing experience to challenged populations. The STEM program introduces the concepts and skills of sailing to Middle School students. During the "off season" MCSC is busy with a wide array classes such as weather for sailors, boat repair, how to cruise around the world, tying knots, race techniques and many other topics. Also available to members and to the community at large are popular Lunch on the Lake lecture series and the monthly Book Club. Oh, lots of parties with delicious food and good times are scheduled throughout the year. I am now 71 years old. Before I joined MCSC I had no prior sailing experience. If I can learn to sail, so can you. Avast! I must stop here. The wind is a blowin' and the sails are set. See you on the water.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center is an excellent asset to the city. Using its wonderful facilities on the water, this nonprofit reaches out to the community to teach many life skills through the art of sailing. These skills include physical development,social interaction,intellectual challenges and appreciation of the natural environment.
Encouraging and helping members with these skills is a friendly and positive staff. The entire sailing community supports new students and provides social settings frequently to help new members become part of the community. Milwaukee is fortunate to have this wonderful sailing center.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great community to be part of. Both for learning to sail, as well as a gateway to a wider sailing community.

Glyn

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center 's mission is to bring the joy of Lake Michigan to all people. To that goal the Sailing Center provides affordable lessons and scholarships for children and teens, as well as a complete range of on-the-water and classroom learning experiences for adults. With the insistence on safety first, MCSC provides the boats, the docks, the staff and the programs to help ANYONE learn how to sail competently. All one needs is a willingness to learn and an aptitude to have a good time. The emphasis on Community means no one who wants to sail is left at the dock. Friendships abound. MCSC provides volunteer opportunities to share sailing with children and adults with disabilities and other challenges. A full schedule of classes, events, social gatherings and volunteer options is available all year round. One can learn about the history of sailing for exploration, commerce, military use, for travel and sport; one can learn about ghosts, legends and ship wrecks, about environmental and conservation concerns and much more. I knew nothing about sailing when I took my first class several years ago. Now I have a passion not only for sailing itself but for helping achieve the mission of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center--to share the joy of Lake Michigan.

1 Dick7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MCSC is the best place on Lake Michigan to learn sailing and to learn about the lake. Their staff is top notch and the location is first rate. Probably the best thing is the cost. It is very reasonable for the services they offer and the access to their facility on Lake Michigan.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is absolutely the greatest place to learn to sail. The staff is excellent and the students you meet all have one thing in common - the love the water and want to learn to sail. It truly is "a great place on a great lake"!! Water is so good for your soul. I have been a member since 1984!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member and volunteer to learn and teach safe sailing and share the sailing experience with many non-sailors in the Milwaukee area for whom this is their best and maybe only way. Excellent programs, activities, classes and best of all staff. AND Boats, too! The new facility sets the tone for a first class experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A great way to sail - Instructors are knowledgable, levelheaded and fun! I cant imagine any other way to get into sailing.

1 Teresa99

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center makes Lake Michigan accessible to anyone! I love that there are a variety of courses offered at different times, making it easy to learn to sail or improve one's sailing abilities. I also love the camaraderie: the community members and staff are welcoming, patient, and, importantly, love to sail themselves.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A real community a sailors excited about sharing the lake and lakefront. Youth lessons, rides for disabled sailors, group and individual sailing opportunities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Truly a community center! Anyone and everyone should learn to sail at MCSC! And all ages! There is a class for every ability and boats for every ability. Start easy and you'll be amazed at what you'll learn. MCSC is the best bargain around. No, you don't need own your own boat, MCSC has them. Many a lifelong friend has been made hanging around the MCSC docks and boats. I dare you to try it out!!!

1 Kristin47

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great place to sail in every way. As someone who as raced my whole life, I find it has a place to enjoy racing. But there is a great number of recreational opportunities. But mostly is is a top notch teaching facility. I have been part of numerous sailing schools as a student and as an instructor. This sailing center is amazing in taking a person from new to the water and boats. To an independent sailor to even a instructor themselves. I have seen people fall in love with a new sport and share it with others. I highly recommend this place. Great staff, great opportunity and great community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The sailing center taught me how to sail four years ago. Since then I have seen that they are much more than a sailing school. They keep a fleet of boats for members to take out like library books, although not overnight. They also make Lake Michigan accesable to people that might not otherwise be able to get out on the water. Things like the kids program, and the help I have seen given to people with disabilities.

There is both a paid staff and a large group of volunteers that keep the many programs running. It is often hard to know if a person is paid or volunteer, the MCSC does such a good job of training the volunteers.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

All aspects thorough professional and informative. Great staff

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The MCSC is a fantastic organization, expertly guided by a highly motivated core team, and supported by a large and dedicated group of volunteers. The organization's mission is to provide the opportunity to learn, experience, and actively participate in sailing activities, with services offered to anyone in the community that expresses an interest. I personally have started to volunteer in 2014, and find it a highly rewarding experience. The MCSC is a top-notch organization and I personally plan on supporting their mission for many years to come.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

MCSC has kept an unwavering focus on maintaining a core staff and a widespread cast of volunteers who are absolutely driven to provide an accessible and enticing gateway into the world of sailing. There are so many opportunities for people in surrounding communities to go beyond learning basic sailing skills - ranging from advanced sail handling, racing, maintenance, coaching, outreach programs and more. As for myself, I was introduced to my first sailboat experience close to 20 years ago during a open house event- I was hooked! Shortly after I took my first basic sailing lessons where I was out on the water within the first two days. Without the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center I might have missed the opportunity to embrace an activity that still stimulates me to want to be out and active.
Thanks. Mike V.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC). Sailing is a truly enjoyable sport---one in which I would never be able to participate if the MCSC did not exist. The organization and the people involved provide the opportunity to learn and enjoy a part of life that would otherwise escape all those involved with it!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been active with the sailing center for over 20 years. In that time, I've seen many great changes all focused on educating the public about sailing. This sailing center is one of Milwaukee's greatest assests because it provides sailing to all levels of sailors, all disabilities of sailors and all ages of sailors. It's great being a part of this fantastic organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A great way to get non-sailors sailing! The educational opportunities for people of all ages, with all types of prior experiences (or lack there-of), with all physical abilities (and dis-abilities), and from all economic backgrounds is fantastic.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC), a world class nonprofit, is to my knowledge one of the finest community sailing centers anywhere and carefully follows U.S.Sail's stringent teaching and sailing standards.

The regular average individual (man, woman, teen, child & retired old salts) have an opportunity to learn to sail or continue to sail on The Great Lake Michigan at a resonable, mostly affordable cost. After graduation, a sailor may continue to develope skill sailing and learning as a graduate of the MCSC's U.S.Sail Certified Sailing School in the MCSC's Open Sailing Program.

All of the above advantages are made possible due to the MCSC's status as a well run and well organized Milwaukee community supported nonprofit.

Due to the well deserved credibility the MCSC has garnered over decades of community nonprofit service, the center has been placed on the most picturesque lakefront sailing venue in Milwaukee.

Come and enjoy a true gem in the world of sailing. Come and enjoy what a great nonprofit has created. Come and enjoy what people working and volunteering together with functional government have provided to this community transending physical challenge, transending sex (women are equal at the MCSC), transending race and transending financial socio economic limits.

Catch a wave and the wind and the spirit of a fine nonprofit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the shore of The Great Lake Michigan!

Sincerely,

Tom Treul
MCSC Skipper
U.S. Sail Certified Sailor

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of MCSC for over 25 years. I have sailed in many facilities in the US over many years. I have served as a sailing instructor at several as well as at MCSC. MCSC is at the top of my list. It is very well run by a exceptionally friendly staff. It lives up to the title of "community" through outreach to the entire Milwaukee area from from providing sailing opportunities for those with disabilities, for children from the central city, and others as well as excellent sailing instruction at all levels for members on and off the water. MCSC has a large fleet of sailboats including Pearson Ensigns, J24s, Solings, and various dinghies available at no cost for members with appropriate sailing ratings. If you are a member, there is no reason to own your own sailboat. MCSC is a crown jewel of Milwaukee.

1 Dick B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This has to be one of the best bargains on the Great Lakes. The fleet of boats is extensive, basic courses taught in Pearson Ensigns, a wonderful, safe craft. Many courses available throughout the season to teach you how to sail safely at increasing levels of competence. The instructors are AWESOME! After you qualify to sail, use of the MCSC boats is open at no charge as part of the membership. Look online to see what commercial outfits charge to rent an Ensign for a half day - $250+? Everyone I've met there is friendly and helpful. If you ever thought you might want to sail, this is the place. Just Do It!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great opportunity to learn to sail! Staff is friendly and helpful and sailing classes were geared for everyone of all levels.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a huge fan of MCSC. In my years in Milwaukee I used the facility often, sailed the boats, stored a boat on the property, and participated in racing and other events regularly. I also taught as a sailing instructor for MCSC. It is, without a doubt, one of the finest organizations I know of. Every member of the staff is dedicated to making sailing accessible and fun for all. Unlike snotty yachty organizations, MCSC encourages people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to come, participate, learn and enjoy the wonderful sport of sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love sailing and the sailing community but can't afford the equipment. The club gives me amazing opportunities to learn and grow! Managed very professionally and with passion.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center and its amazing staff have been great to my daughter and myself as novice sailors. Their teen classes as well as adult beginner classes are well prepared and not only instructional but amazing fun. Having never sailed or been on the water before, getting hold of the tiller and steering through the moorings with skill drills was a great accomplishment and the support of the staff and the volunteers are second to none. My daughter is equally fond if not more of MCSC and we will continue to be members as long as we reside in this lovely town.

1 Bill89

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was privileged to help start MCSC 35 years ago in order to bring sailing to the public so that a sport that had been unaffordable to most people due to the expense was made available to the average person and kids! The concept has worked so well that now there are over 150 such facilities in the US! Shared boating access is a great concept thanks to this enterprising and well run non profit. Proof is that it is still in business and thriving 35 years later! Plus we have a great adaptive program for the disabled group.

Bill Mosher

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member since 2005 and sail almost every day (weather permitting) MCSC has brought immeasurable joy to my life. Last year I sailed 130 times--approximately 260 hours! I am so grateful for this community center and love to give sailboat rides to the disabled. Arlene Wisotzke

1 Tim_55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a terrific group of people! From sailing to cooking to gardening, there's something for everyone at the Sailing Center.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My beginner class was led by Tom, he is the best teacher I have ever had for any course, ever. I learned a lot and saw how he took care teaching each individual. I always feel welcome at MCSC - I am so excited to sail. Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Never sailed until two years ago. Now I can't get enough of it, due in large part to the MCSC. The classes are taught by enthusiastic, knowledgable volunteers, the staff is fantastic, and the facilities are awesome. The ease of signing out a boat and the ability to bring out guests at no additinal charge add to the experience. I've met a number of new friends through the Center as well. Truly an organization run by people who love to sail and are eager to promote the sport and to share their experience with others. Wish I'd have found the MCSC years ago.

1 Michael269

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this place. Well run. I can't believe I have gone from always wanting to sail, to be able to sail in one summer. Can't get over how much I learned. The enrichment programs are great for us loners whose spouses or kids have no interest, we get to race, or just do a nice sailing day and are assured of getting on the water. MCSC has made sailing accessible to many, from accessibility to affordability, as well as quality instruction from people who care about their members.

1 Jacqueline22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend asked me to assist him in updating his resume back in 1991. At the very bottom of his page, under volunteer activities, he had written: Volunteer Board Member for the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center. When next I spoke with him, I asked him about that group. He told me about his work with the group. A non-profit community sailing center open to all adults and youth. People pay a low-cost annual membership fee, which gives them free access to a variety of boats for two hours at a time seven days a week, without needing to own their own boat. People can sail with others as crew, or pass sailing tests which allows them to be rated as a light, medium, or heavy wind skipper.

Classes are held year-round, both on water and on land. Classes are offered for all age groups, grade school through adults. Special classes and programs are held for people with disabilities, also.

All of this information prompted me to contact staff at the Milwaukee Community Center in May 1991, and after a brief conversation, I signed up for the next available beginners class. I was hooked.

Our class that year was known as the class that lucked out -- many classes on the water were cancelled due to stormy weather. Or no wind! Both banes of sailors.

Gratefully, our instructors offered make-up classes and make-up on water practices, and we all completed the classes satisfactorily and received our ranking as light sailors.

That summer of 1991 I was free enough to go sailing for the two allotted hours almost every single day. I spent three weeks as part of my doctoral studies in Seattle, Washington, and spent several of those days with friends who live in Seattle and own a sailboat. They invited me to sail with them several times, and offered me the privilege of skippering the boat on Puget Sound, on a gloriously sunny day in August of 1991.

Over the past 23 years, I advanced to medium rating, and have taken classes for heavy rating. Unfortunately, testing dates, weather, and my own schedule have not coincided for me to take that test. In the meantime, I have skippered boats with crew made up of family, of friends, of co-workers, and occasionally even of strangers, as part of the Spinniker Club.

My husband and I enjoy sailing together on lazy summer afternoons. We have enjoyed the Full Moon and Blue Moon cruises with other sailing center folks, those who own large sail boats and willingly donate the use of these boats to the Sailing Center for these special events. Our family has enjoyed participating in Sailing Center activities, too. One of our sons took part in the youth sailing classes when he was in high school and enjoyed it very much. One year, my mother and daughter and I spent a Fourth of July at a picnic sponsored by the Sailing Center, and then enjoyed an evening of fireworks while seated in a sailboat anchored in the harbor watching this spectacle over Lake Michigan, a very special time for all of us. Our extended family has gathered on the sailing center grounds on other Fourth of July occasions for picnics and fireworks.

Members of our family also volunteer at many of the events held at and/or by the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, including some open houses, other special events, and for a number of years, at the Annual Lobster Boil.

All of these activities help invigorate current members, introduce new folks to the highlights of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, and most importantly of all, raises funds for important Sailing Center programs.

Two of the very best of these programs include those programs that focus on youth, offering classes and sailing opportunities for children who come from poor and disadvantaged families, often through neighborhood community groups, and those programs that provide a sailing experience for children and adults with significant disabilities of all sorts: cognitive, emotional, medical, and physical.

Sailing soothes our souls, provides a time for family enrichment, a time for sharing with long time friends, and an opportunity to meet new friends. Sailing offers a way, too, to connect with our environment is a manner that leaves a very small footprint on our ecosystem.

All this, because I asked what someone meant by his reference to his work as a Board Member almost 25 years ago.

I highly recommend the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center for this award.

Respectfully,

Jacqueline Haessly
Member of and volunteer at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center since 1991

1

Donor

Rating: 5

When I was a young man of 58, I met a few MCSC sailors at a party. We talked.

The next day I signed up for a class at MCSC. That was July of 1996. Still sailing.

My life has become deeply enriched by fellow members, our staff, and of course, Lake Michigan.

MCSC's extensive community outreach programs, year-round educational opportunities, and sponsorships, have earned international respect and recognition.

With an exemplary staff and corps of volunteers, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center continues to be a rich and deep fabric of our community.



1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center provides the Milwaukee metropolitean region with access to day sailing and sailboat racing on Lake Michigan. Classes are available for youth and adults so a person doesn't need to be a sailor to participate. The MCSC provides events for disabled individuals. The staff are friendly and helpful. The MCSC provides e-mail updates as well as Facebook and Twitter links so that sailors can learn about events and the weather conditions.

I have served as a skipper providing sailboat rides to disabled individuals - rewarding experiences for all.

Carl Eisenberg

1 Guy C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The organization is inclusive and friendly. Whether introducing community members to Lake Michigan, teaching new sailors to sail, or providing opportunities for handicapped sailors to get out on the lake, everyone from volunteers to professional instructors to boatyard staff have a smile and something good to say to everyone. I feel like I belong.