HUNTINGTON HARBOUR – Captains welcomed More than 60 kids from the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County aboard their vessels during the first annual Sails Up for Down syndrome (SUDS) event, Sept. 13.
Founded by the American Legion Yacht Club in partnership with Sea Gate Yacht Club, the idea initially came to American Legion YC Commodore Hans Witten in April. He has been working to put the sail together ever since.
Three American Legion YC volunteers — Fleet Capt. Anne Borren, Treasurer Marco Monters and Director Steve Sawdon – along with Witten, and three boat owners with Sea Gate YC joined the children and their parents on the sail.
Sea Gate YC Commodore Josef Davydovits with wife, Kim, also arranged for a fire boat display prior to the harbor cruise. Kids ranged from 5 to 11 years in age.
Once on the water, passengers enjoyed a three-hour cruise through Huntington Harbour.
“They were very excited from the moment they arrived,” Witten said. “It was a super event.”
Witten plans to host SUDS four to five times a year alternating between Newport Harbor and Huntington Harbour.