Commodore’s Letter

     After a dismal winter, the daffodils and tulips are finally showing their faces to the sun—a sure sign that paddling season is almost here. And we have a busy one this year.
     Open House celebrates its 13th birthday this summer. Last summer, the program exploded in size when the path on which we sit was finally opened to the public after two years of work. It is much busier now, and the added exposure led to a 100 percent increase in attendance—going from an average of 500 guests per summer to around 1,000 in 2014.
     The Club felt the strain of this increase 
immediately. We knew we’d see more guests, but the growth was astounding. Fortunately, we had made some strategic kayak purchases earlier in the summer in anticipation of a modest increase. These included five sit-on-top Riviera kayaks, made by Jackson Kayak, which are perfect for beginners and can accommodate people of all body types and ages. Citizens Committee of New York City, a longtime funder of ICC, 
generously provided the funds.
     Our new Rivieras will also play a role in the pilot program we are planning for this summer. We tested the boats last summer when we hosted the 
Blue Waves—a swim team for young people ages 
9–18 sponsored by BronxWorks. We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of the boats and the outcome of the event—smiles everywhere!
     Given the success of that event, we decided to expand the pilot to three events this summer. In June, we will be hosting some teenagers from WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School) and Inwood Academy. And we hope to host BronxWorks again. This pilot is an important step toward establishing a permanent youth program.
     If you would like to support our journey toward a unique and influential program for our neighbors, please consider making a donation. Further details can be found at inwoodcanoenyc.org. 

Janet Handy,
Commodore