Chicago yachting community gives back to special guests

ByJesse Kirsch via WLS logo
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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The Windy City is a stunning, storied backdrop?especially from Lake Michigan.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Windy City is a stunning, storied backdrop-especially from Lake Michigan. It's something members of the Chicago Yacht Club regularly enjoy.

But on Tuesday, the organization partnered with Wintrust to share the view.

"Our guest's faces say it all," beamed Chicago Yacht Club Rear Commodore Nick Berberian.

Misericordia, Helping Hands and St. Mary of Providence participated in the annual "Special Needs Cruise."

"Once you do it, you are hooked. The passion and joy that you feel as a participant to be able to lend and be part of this is something that brings people back each and every year," Berberian added.

"It's awesome to just be around it and see it and feel how lucky we are and how blessed we are to share it with other people," said Ed Falkenhayn, who donated his time and vessel "Lakehouse" for the event.

He's one of more than 20 ship captains who pitched in to give some, including Denise Towns from Helping Hands, their first boat ride.

"It was nice, it was beautiful, it was spectacular," she smiled.

More than 200 people climbed aboard the yachts, which cruised along the lakefront, across the Museum Campus and then north to Navy Pier for a special kind of "traffic stop" complete with a water cannon courtesy of the Chicago Fire Department.

Sister Darlene Johnson of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence said the guests look forward to this event all year long.

"It gives them an opportunity to get out and be with the rest of the people of the world," Johnson said.

And with Chicago as the backdrop, this is one annual tradition that will never get old.