Chicago Yacht Club hosts annual Special Needs Cruise

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Yacht Club's annual Special Needs Cruise brought dozens to the Lake Michigan waterfront for a scenic ride aboard spacious boats Tuesday.

"We get to share our passion of the water with those that don't otherwise have that wonderful opportunity," said club Rear Commodore Nick Berberian of the event stretching back more than 20 years.

The club provided lunch to visitors from four organizations: Misericordia, Helping Hand, St. Mary's and Good Shepherd. Then, everyone boarded more than a dozen yachts and the groups were guided south along Grant Park, east of the Museum Campus, and then North to Navy Pier. Along the way, the Chicago Fire Department launched water into the air to help celebrate.

"It's a lot of fun," said Kevin Conley, whose been aboard a yacht in past years and returned again Tuesday.

He enjoys feeling "the cool breeze."

Margaret Shippee finds the annual event "soothing, relaxing."

Ed Falkenhayn was one of the volunteer captains who offered up his boat for the afternoon cruise, which lasted close to 90 minutes. He's done this for the past five years and enjoys "having great conversations and being able to share the love of the water."
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