A Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Foundation
Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation
Dedicated to promoting national and international amateur sailing, maritime arts, education, water safety and community improvements


Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation is a community outreach program dedicated to promoting national and international amateur sailing, maritime arts, education, water safety and community improvements. GPYNEF awards college scholarships every year to young sailors who have participated in a DRYA sailing program at any point, sponsor competitive events and supports high school and community programs.
Great Lakes
Boating Festival
Open free to the public, the Grosse Pointe Yacht is host to this family-fun weekend of: the latest boats, antique cars, vintage boats, stadium sailing, remote control boats, music, food, and two raffles for a Rolex Watch and Boston Whaler.
Summer Breeze
Auction and Party
The Summer Breeze Auction and Party kicks off the Great Lakes Boating Festival and is an evening of fabulous live auction items, food and entertainment. The fund-raising event is held at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club and open to the public.
Past or present participation in organized junior sailing or high school sailing programs within the DRYA-area may qualify for a GPYNEF college scholarships. The next scholarship availability will be for the 2019–20 school year.
GPYNEF continues its mission of promoting amateur sailing through its sponsorship of competitive events. Among those events is the 2019 sponsorship of the USODA Great Lakes Championship.
High Schools
The Foundation recognizes the development of high school sailing as the future of the sport. High schools benefit from GPYNEF support through educational opportunities, equipment, general funding and regattas.
GPYNEF’s dedication to community outreach can be seen in their support of programs such as Challenge the Wind, Set Sail for Autism, competitive sailing grants and suport of organizations such as the Pontiac Sailing Eduction Foundation.

Grosse Pointe Yacht Club grows partnership with Challenge the Wind

By Mellissa Walsh
Grosse Pointe News Staff Writer

GROSSE POINTE SHORES AND DETROIT — Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Sailing Director Wally Cross believes when kids have accessibility to sailing, they have accessibility to fun.“If there’s an easy, affordable way for kids to sail, they would do it,” he said. Detroit’s Challenge the Wind program has been working to provide sailing accessibility to kids more than 20 years, a goal shared by GPYC’s Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation since its founding in 2009 . . .

Special thank you to John Minnis for permission to reprint this article.


Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson graduated from Yale in 2016 with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology extensive clinical and bench research on epilepsy, resulting in several publications as a co-author. She is also a 2012 GPYNEF Scholarship recipient.

During her time at Yale, Emily sailed on the women’s and coed teams all four years, during which time Yale won seven national championships and four Ivy championships. highlight was sailing on the women’s team A boat when Yale won the women’s national championship in 2015; served the team in a variety of roles, including vice commodore and freshman captain member of the Yale Glee Club all four years, and soprano section leader senior year In grad school.

Emily said that one of the most meaningful things about receiving the scholarship was just knowing that someone cared about the fact that she was a sailor and supported that. Even at Yale, a school that has won national championships and seen several graduates sail in the Olympics, many on campus are unaware of the sport and have no sense of the hard work and hours required to compete with the team. Emily definitely had times when she struggled to balance school work with sailing commitments and glee club, and it was heartening to know there was a group of people back home who saw value in sailing and supported it with a scholarship.

Currently, she received an M.S. in Biomedical Science from Tufts University School of Medicine in summer 2017, and is looking forward to entering medical school in the fall of 2018.

Peter Polgard

First off, I would like to congratulate the GPYNEF team for their continued success in promoting the sport of sailing to juniors in Metro Detroit. It was an amazing opportunity to get in at the ground-level of such a strong foundation and watch it continuously grow and support sailing on a local, national, and even international level. I think Detroit is back on the radar for a power-house of sailing!

Since my receipt of the scholarship in 2012 I continued my sailing professional career in holding the Director of Sailing position with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in 2014.

After graduation from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2014 I started a career with Detroit Diesel where I hold the role of Launch Manager.

The scholarship program not only offered financial support through my college years, but helped established valuable personal and professional connections that I have carried along. I look forward to watching the program continue to grow and promote the sport of sailing for years to come!

Ryan Seago

Since 2013 I have graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics '14 and the Masters of Accounting program or MAcc in '16 at the Ross School of Business at U of M. Needless to say, I spent many years in Ann Arbor and am truly proud to be an alumnus. Currently I work for a global public accounting firm, Grant Thornton LLP, in their NYC and Stamford, CT, offices as an audit associate.

I'm very thankful for receiving the GPYNEF scholarship in '13 and other match racing grants over the past 2 years from the GPYNEF to compete in international events such as the Detroit Cup and other national events. Without the support our participation would have not of been possible.

Kaitlyn Vreeken

Hello my name is Kaitlyn Vreeken. I am in my Senior year and enrolled as a double major in Spanish and Criminal Justice at Indiana University in Bloomington.

I love my school and was recently informed I made the College of Arts and Sciences Executive Dean's List for the Fall 2016. I am currently one of five IU students accepted into the Advanced Liberal Arts Spanish Immersion Studies Program attending the University of Barcelona until June of this year.

I will graduate in the spring of 2018 and look forward to what comes after. Whether it's law school or starting a new career, I'm hoping to channel my new abilities into helping others.

The Grosse Pointe Youth Nautical Education Foundation Sailing Scholarship assisted me with the opportunity to focus on my academics my freshman year at IU, not having to get a part-time job. It was greatly appreciated and set me off on a great start to my academic career.

Thank you once again to the Foundation for selecting me as a 2014 Commodore John and Marlene Boll Perpetual Scholarship Winner.