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November 15, 2012

Foundation readies for Detroit Yacht Club fundraiser; members, public welcome to join in restoration effort

By Mike Moore
C & G Staff Writer

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The Detroit Yacht Club’s clubhouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

Mark Lifter has watched for years as one of the most glorious buildings in the country slowly, but surely, began showing its age.

And after nearly 90 years, it’s hard not to.

So Lifter and the Detroit Yacht Club Foundation took aim at a project that offered more than just bandages to a growing wound.

They have set their sights on a seven-figure restoration.

“This is one of those iconic Detroit buildings, a one-of-a-kind gem,” Lifter, the Foundation president, said of the DYC clubhouse. “Our mission is to find the funds, contributions, grants, and so on, that will preserve this wonderful building for years to come. … So, basically, we formed the Foundation with the purpose of raising enough money to restore and preserve the clubhouse.”

Dedicated in 1923, the DYC clubhouse encompasses 93,000 square feet, making it the largest yacht club in the country.

In 2011, the clubhouse, located on Belle Isle in Detroit, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the listing, the DYC Foundation was formed.

“With any building that’s nearly 90 years old, there will, obviously, be some needs,” Lifter explained. “The primary focus for us right now is the exterior. We’re having problems with water getting into the clubhouse, for example. Essentially, the core mission is to seal the envelope of the clubhouse.”

The mission takes center stage at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 with “Restoring the Grandeur.”

According to a DYC press release, tickets are available for $50 and include a strolling dinner with cash bar, music, dancing, and historic displays and activities.

Tickets are available to all DYC members, guests, friends and the general public in advance at the club’s reception desk at (313) 824-1200 or by calling the foundation at (313) 757-5240.

The DYC Foundation’s status as a 501(c)(3) was approved by the IRS earlier this year, allowing the acceptance of tax-deductible donations.

“We’ve had some success so far (with ticket sales), but there is plenty of room still available,” Lifter said, adding that the goal of funds raised is seven figures. “There’s so much history that will be on hand. This truly is something for everyone.”

Lifter stressed the event was open to the public.

“This is an opportunity to support an iconic building: one seen and enjoyed by millions of people,” he added. “It serves so many functions for everyone in the area, and anyone who’s had the chance to experience it knows just how special of a place it is.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.