Woodfield Area Charity Organization Stirs Up Interest in Regatta
Daday, Eileen O., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent
The room glowed with nautical sails and boat lanterns, while the crowd buzzed with excitement over the upcoming regatta at the Schaumburg Yacht Club. But there was nary a body of water in sight.
As a matter of fact, just where is the Schaumburg Yacht Club?
The 150 would-be boat skippers were chartered at the first Schaumburg Yacht Club dinner-dance, held March 30 at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield. The dance was devised as a kickoff to the regatta, which will be held during Septemberfest in Schaumburg.
Of course, the yacht club is fictitious. And the regatta features toy boats - more than 3,000 of them.
But the concept is clever enough to raise money for needy children in the West and Northwest suburbs, by way of a group of benefactors known as the Woodfield Area Charity Organization.
"It's just a fun way to raise money that the whole community got involved in last year," said member Stan Howard of Palatine, who helped conceive the event with member Ron Reinke of Addison.
The toy boats are propelled through a 300-foot course on a pond at the Schaumburg Municipal Center, powered by the hoses of the Schaumburg Fire Department, during Septemberfest.
But this no mere child's play. The winner stands to win $1,000, followed by $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
Even more, organizers expect to double their proceeds from last year's event, and raise close to $12,000 this year from the regatta.
Members of the charity group raise money for a variety of organizations, including Shelter Inc. in Arlington Heights, the Children's Advocacy Center in Hoffman Estates, and the Headstart programs in Elgin, Arlington Heights and Des Plaines.
To attract even more entries in the regatta (the race can accommodate up to 5,000 boats), the group organized the dinner.
"This was planned for our members and supporters to just have fun," said chairwoman Nancy Cook of Schaumburg, who worked with co-chairwoman Karen Sweeney of Roselle, and committee members Reinke of Addison, Frank Matz of Roselle, and George Welch of Deer Park. …