This was a great week for the US Sailing Center and for Miami! After a long process of meetings, negotiations, deferrals and Commissioner input, we were successful in acquiring a new lease for the US Sailing Center. The Schoonmaker Center will continue to fly the Olympic Rings at Kennedy Park.
This would not have been possible without the incredible support we received from the Sailing Community. Nearly 5,000 of you – from 32 countries and all 50 states – signed the petition confirming that the Center is an important part of the fabric of our sport and City. Over 100 attendees filled City Hall on multiple occasions so there could be no doubt about your passion. US Sailing President Bruce Burton and CEO Jack Gierhart made personal appearances to speak at the Commission meeting on the Center’s behalf. They are true partners of the Sailing Center and we thank them for their great representation and efforts.
I would also personally like to thank the members of our Board and lease renewal committee who spent many hours meeting, planning, and implementing the successful strategy that earned us this lease. Brian Fink, Jeff Rubin, Mark Kamilar, Kay Voss, Carol Ewing, Paul Callahan, Magnus Liljedahl, and Meredith Brody, and our Executive Director Pat Downey all made significant contributions to shaping and sharing our mission.
We want to thank the Commissioners of the City of Miami who listened to our message and gave us more opportunities to promote the sport of Sailing in our community. Thanks to them, more Miami children will experience the natural treasure of Biscayne Bay, and more international sailors will train and race from our shores here in Kennedy Park. A special thank you goes to Ken Russell, a true friend of the waterfront, for sponsoring the lease renewal initiative and bringing it to a successful vote. Thank you also to Miami’s Parks and DREAM departments for working with us throughout the process.
We look forward to working with the City of Miami, local residents and businesses to continue to provide an open facility for people to access the water whether it is in pursuit of their Olympic Dreams or their first sail on the Bay.
Again, thank you for your support.
US Sailing Center Miami