Sailing Spotlight: Vicki Callahan

REDONDO BEACH — Vicki Callahan, a longtime member of King Harbor Yacht Club and an experienced boat captain, has brought her passion for philanthropy to the club, collecting more than 300 suitcases for foster kids.

What is your boating background?
My husband, Byron Porter, and I have a mixed marriage: he’s a sailor and I’m a powerboater. We argue which one is the best mode of transportation If it’s smooth like glass it is my day and it’s his day when it’s windy. 

We are both licensed captains with 110-ton license and through our business, Callahan-Porter Yacht Management, we do consulting, deliveries and my husband teaches for a yacht broker when a customer buys a new yacht. I prefer doing deliveries.

We’ve delivered boats to Santa Barbara for a race or to Baja Naval for boat work, and as far as Seattle and Cabo San Lucas. 

What is the Foster Child Resource Program and how did yacht club members get involved?
I am a third generation member of the Woman’s Club and each club chooses a project and mine was Foster Child Resource Program. I learned that when a foster child turns 18 that are asked to leave their foster home. They often are handed a trash bag to put all their belongings in and leave the foster home. We began collecting luggage and backpacks to the kids will have something nicer than a plastic bag to transport their personal items. 

We started collecting gently used suitcases and the yacht club picked it up as a project.

Have you collected several donations?
It’s an ongoing project. I’ve had members say ‘I’m going on a cruise, can I give you my old luggage?’ I’ve collected 300 suitcases from the yacht club and they’ve been so generous donating jackets and gift cards. Some have written me checks. We need a lot of things for the foster kids. 

How do you balance work with philanthropy?
At the club I am in charge of ordering and making sure trophies are available for each race and ordering trophies for the Twilight Series and Byron does the committee boat.

We have four to five deliveries a month and spend time on our own personal boat – a powerboat. It just seems to work. Without Byron’s help and his picking up some of the slack to do deliveries, I would not be able to do this; I’m very grateful. 

The project will be ongoing as long as I’m around. 

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