Story by Rhonda Moziy
A stone walled fireplace, dim lighting, living room library setting and sliding French doors set the cozy intimate scene of NACK’s Annual Awards Holiday Dinner . On the evening of Sunday, January 22nd 2017, once again, this wonderful dining experience was held at The Irish Coffee Pub at 131 Carleton Avenue, East Islip.
The delicious multicourse meal satisfied our palates starting off with salads, appetizers of Penne a la Vodka, Potato Soup or Beef Barley Soup; main course choices of prime rib, salmon with champagne lobster sauce or stuffed filet of sole. The dessert topped off our meal with warm apple crumb a la mode or brownies all served with tea or coffee.
In attendance were Hal and Pat, Paul and Goldene, Chris K, Mike M, Mike G. Troy, Alan, Debbie, Maryann, Rhonda, Lesley, Awards chair Steve and our President John.
Our president started off the evening by welcoming us all to the NACK Annual Awards event. In his opening he went on to state that NACK’S first awards dinner was held December 2006 – which makes this is our 10th dinner. NACK has grown and changed a lot since then. He went on to thank the Board of Directors; Elizabeth, Gordon, John, Ann, Steve, Roy, Debbie, Buddy, and Lynne who is our new Director at Large. He also thanked the Executives: John, Alan, Steve, Bob and Committee Chairs; Greeter & Work-Rhonda, Training and Safety-Debbie, Outreach and Picnic-Paul, Trips & Activities-Alan, Newsletter Hal, Website-Steve & Chris K, Facebook-Roy, and Mary Ann for organizing a great dinner for us tonight.
This year’s celebration honored some wonderful NACK members for their outstanding contributions and achievements. All of these amazing members help make NACK the great club that it is.
Most Valuable Paddler was Chris K., Most Improved Paddler was Michael G., The Presidents Award went to Deborah, The Distinguished Service Trophy went to Alan, and the Trip Leader award went to Paul.
Skills Assessment is a vital part of advancing your enjoyment and safety on the water. Fifteen NACK members earned or advanced their ACA Skills Assessment Levels this past year.
Level 1 Assessment Awards went to Maria and Chris F.
Level 2 Assessment Awards went to Chris F., Vincent, Jonathan B., Michael, Emery, Rhonda, Jahzeel, and Randy
Level 3 Assessment Awards went to Alan M. and Troy S.
Level 4 Assessment Awards went to Deborah H., Stephen M., Jonathan T. and Mike M.
Lynne Basileo earned an Instructor Award.
Continuing his opening speech, he went on to say that this club cannot survive if it was not for all of our members; we might not be the biggest club around but we are one of the best. I am proud of our expert training and continued training at our peer practices. The paddles we have are expertly run and extremely interesting. Our club is known as a Sea Kayak expert. We have great relations with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the New York State Parks on Long Island, the Town of Babylon and more. We are always proving ourselves at the outreach events.
The Pumpkin Paddle could not have been done if it was not for our Kayakers and participants: Pat, Rhonda, Bob, Jonathan, Troy, John, Roy, Chris F, Steve, Buddy, Emery. Having a presence on Social media is important, it helps to legitimize us. Steve and Chris keep our website up to date and Roy handles our Facebook presence. I cannot say enough about our Newsletter, Hal showcases our club in his quarterly novel. However he depends on all of your great articles and input.
John then went on to discuss such issues like the Drone Proposal and Fund. Alan followed by talking about future trips. Debbie then went on to talk about training, instructors, and possible camping trips.
John informed us that he spoke to leaders about instructor endorsements/updates; skills to teach rolling, strokes skill courses including learning and refining there use. He stated that the cost will depend on how many sign up.
He mentioned that during winter pool session there are open spots and instructors offering the following free mini sessions:
January 21 – Mike – Edging, High and Low Braces, Sculling for support.
February 4 – Steve – Wet exits, Stern rudders.
February 25 – John – re-enter and roll (with and without a paddle float)
March 4 – Open choice.
March 25 – Tom – Hand of God/Scoop/Sling rescues.
April 1- Debbie – warmup yoga, boat carrying, Cowgirl self-rescue, Chest sculling, Balance bracing.
Also mentioned was Peer Practices slated to start in May and we discussed what day of the week we wanted to do practices this year. ACA Day Trip Leader cost is to be determined, it is a 2 day course in 1 or 2 weekends. We have not finalized the cost but after you lead a few trips you will get an amount refunded.
Alan talked about trips and asked members to start sending in ideas.
Debbie then took the stage. She commented on the successful year of training we had which culminated in the ACA Assessments of 16 members.
She spoke of how this reflected all the hard work and determination of the participants as well as the instructors to prepare for the Assessments as well as to administer them. She also gave a summary of all the training that was offered by NACK to the members over the course of the year:
Jan – March Pool Sessions with Kayak Rolling Class given by Matt Kane of Prime Paddle Sport,
May- Wayne Horodowich Skills Class & Surfing Class (University of Sea Kayaking, Ca),
June- Level 1/ Level 2 Skills Course given by NACK Instructors (Steve, Tom & Debbie),
July – Level 3 Skills Course given by Nack Instructors (Mike Matty & Debbie),
July & Aug – 2 weekend trips to Kayakwaveology, Stonington, Conn to train in Tide Races and rough water conditions off Fishers Island.(arranged by Lynne Basileo),
Oct–Weekend in Stonington at the Autumn Gales Symposium (arranged by Lynne Basileo),
Nov – VHF Radio class given by Troy
In addition she expressed that we had our weekly peer practices with certified instructors in attendance to offer free coaching. Debbie especially wanted to recognize and thank our core group of instructors, John, Steve, Tom, and Mike M. for their time and dedication to our members and the advancement of safe and fun kayaking. She further went on to commend them for their dedication and being responsible for the success of our training program and greatly appreciate all the help and assistance throughout the year and admire each one of them for their knowledge and skill and their desire to impart that to our members.
She further went on to thank all the members for their participation and dedication to become better paddlers so we can paddle with confidence that we are with skilled paddlers and ended by saying “Now let’s all get out and paddle”! Thank you Debbie for such an informative heartwarming appreciative speech.
NACK is hoping to have a meeting on March 18 about gel coat repair and more detail using VHF radios by Troy.
It was a wonderful evening. Thanks to all of you, our members, for making NACK the great club that it is. Without everyone’s dedication and hard work we could never enjoy this wonderful and fulfilling club.