About Us

CHYC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Membership fees and donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

Our organization is governed by an all volunteer board of directors —

  • Commodore: Lance Winchester
  • Vice Commodore: Ken Trester
  • Past Commodore: Sherry Tedaldi
  • Treasurer: Leslie Thompson
  • Secretary: Jude Gemmen
  • Director: Jared Kearns
  • Director: Corky McNaughten
  • Director: Adam Mendes
  • Director: Jeff Slayer

The first Cow Hill Yacht Club was formed in Clinton Connecticut in the late 1960’s. The club met in a barn on Cow Hill Road, and, since most of the members owned yachts, the name was born. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, CHYC started raising money through bake sales and raffles to buy equipment for Little League and Rocket Football programs. The Club’s founders, Robert (a salesman for Huron Cement Co.) and Debra Richards, were transferred to Michigan and chose Saugatuck as home because it was much like Clinton. The energetic couple soon formed the “Great Lakes Division” of CHYC, in 1976.

The newly formed club decided to raise money for Special Olympics, inspired to do so by Dan Wicks, son of the owners of the West Shore Club, where many of the members often met. Their signature event was a Special Olympics Buffet each spring at West Shore.

Over the years, CHYC evolved its charitable work to where today we sponsor more than a half dozen fund raising events each year, and help out literally hundreds of local area residents with support ranging from transportation to housing to school supplies and more.

Based upon our philosophy of “A hand up – not a hand out,” the club supports families over rough spots, like paying utility bills for those who are out of work through no fault of their own. We are especially proud of the annual Christmas Gift Project where we have provided scores of presents to kids in families who could not otherwise afford to put anything under the tree.

In 2012 the Club created the Gary Demond Memorial Fund in honor of our longtime friend and fellow member who passed away. Reflecting Gary’s wishes, the fund is used to support educational activities for children whose families cannot afford them on their own.

Cow Hill Yacht Club, Box 554, Saugatuck, MI 49453

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