After a successful campaign to raise funds to get all the navigation buoys on the Whitefish Chain replaced with solar powered buoys, the Whitefish Chain Yacht Club has done just that, raising almost $19,000 from community members for this project.

With more than 100 donations, the $19,000 was supplemented with a $15,000 match from the WCYC. The campaign exceeded its goal of raising $30,000.

“There is such a legacy of giving in this community," Commodore John Pribyl said in a news release. “It was an ambitious goal for our organization, but once again we received the support of businesses, individuals and organizations and they show their support by making donations.”

The lighted buoys are now in place and new and seasoned boaters to the Whitefish Chain will be able to navigate the lakes with improved visibility of the buoys, marking channels and hazards in the lakes.

Improving navigation and boating safety are just two of the goals of the Whitefish Chain Yacht Club. The club dates back to 1952 when a group of residents wanted to mark the rock pile on Father Foley’s Bar. In the 1950s and 1960s, the yacht club sponsored sailboat races. As boating evolved, so did the focus of the club to what it is today - promoting boating and water safety.

Each summer, the WCYC has sponsored swimming classes for children ages 5 years and older, youth boating classes for youth ages 12-17, and boating safety classes for women.

Because of COVID-19, the planned classes for residents and visitors, and social events for its members, are on hold until it is safe to hold these types of events as outlined by orders issued by Gov. Tim Walz.

The WCYC is looking for new members. Becoming a member helps to support the mission of the WCYC promoting water and boating safety. Members also have the opportunity to attend planned social events at local establishments and enjoy the hospitality of more than 700 yachting and sailing clubs through the Yachting Club of America.

Memberships for the WCYC start at $50 per year. A complimentary six-month membership is also available for $20.

With its mission to keep the public safe, the WCYC will offer protective gaiters for sale on its website. For more information about the club or to become a member, or to sign up for one of its classes, visit www.wcyc.info.