On rainy Sunday, May 3, Mount Vernon Yacht Club moved its annual first-Sunday-in May Commissioning Day ceremony to inside the clubhouse for just the second time in its 53- year history— and the first time since 1985.
Sharon Bulova, the newly elected chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, made her first appearance and praised MVYC members for their community spirit in spite of the weather. She said the event lived up to its reputation for an all American festivity.
"I had never attended your outdoors ceremony, but I am very impressed by your spirit and this traditional event," said
Bulova. She noted that county supervisors worked hard to protect funding in the tight county budget for boating safety and law enforcement on Fairfax County waterways.
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly cancelled plans to attend, and Supervisor Gerry Hyland, who is still recuperating from automobile accident injuries, could not come due to the inclement weather.
State Sen. Linda (Toddy) Puller made her annual appearance along with Del. Kristen Amundson. The Rev. Jeri Fields of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church gave the invocation and blessing of the MVYC power and sail boat fleets.
With morning rain threatening to increase over the traditional MVYC site on Dogue Creek, the Mount Vernon Community Band under Director Owen Hammett set up instruments inside the clubhouse. It was built in the late 1950s and remodeled in 2001 to include a third story, elevator, and raised roof in the main floor ballroom, where the Commissioning Day ceremonies were held.
The U. S. Coast Guard Color Guard presented the American flag and commissioned the club for the 2009 season. Commodore Bill Gard welcomed guests, and Past Commodore Chris Ruckman conducted the ceremonies, including the commissioning of the Mount Vernon High School Crew Team, under Coach Ryan Ward.
Mount Vernon Yacht Club, located at 4817 Tarpon Lane in the Yacht Haven Subdivision, has 225 family memberships and 125 power and sailboat slips. About 150 members and guests attended Sunday’s event.
<b>By Jacque Knight</b>
<i>Jacque Knight served as Mount Vernon Yacht Haven Commissioning Day chair.</i>