Chairman Emeritus Charlie Pope and his wife Chris were honored by a syndicate of donors that provided the funds for the Charlie and Chris Pope Marine Recreational Park located at the 3-Corners Development in Vero Beach. Youth Sailing Foundation’s Board of Directors enthusiastically endorsed the naming at their March 29, 2023 meeting.
Charlie and Chris founded YSF in 2009 building wood Opti prams in the Vero Beach Marina storage building. Their vision to bring the joys and benefits of sailing to the children of Indian River County was realized over the intervening sixteen years as YSF grew and prospered to take its place as a major non-profit serving the entire community. Today YSF is a diverse roster of 400 sailors that mirrors the demographic make-up of the County with 45% of its sailors from underserved homes, 27% from minorities and 17% from special needs community. The Board voted unanimously to approve the Charlie and Chris Pope Marine Recreational Park.
Gavin Ruotolo and Nelson Cover, longtime supporters of YSF and lead donors in the naming gift for Charlie and Chris Pope in a joint statement said: “It is only fitting that the beautiful 3-acre marine recreational park be named in honor of Charlie and Chris’s unwavering dedication to their vision to serve the children of Indian River County through the medium of sailing. Sailing requires perseverance and resilience, basic building blocks of life that help children achieve their full potential. No greater gift can be given to our young people.”
Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to eliminating cultural and financial barriers to sailing. Numerous youth programs are offered throughout the year, many of them free to participants. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit: www.ysfirc.org
As well they should!
The honor is so well deserved! Congratulations to Chris and Charlie and YSF!!!