Local yacht club honors MDA with day of fun

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published August 10, 2018

 Harper Woods residents Lorelei Collins, seated far left; her daughter, Blyth, 10, seated; and her husband, Ed Collins, seated far right, enjoy a boat ride Aug. 1 with Richard Greiner and his 14-year-old son, Matthew, from  St. Clair Shores. The outing was part of the Huron Pointe Yacht Club’s 46th annual MDA boat ride and barbecue.

Harper Woods residents Lorelei Collins, seated far left; her daughter, Blyth, 10, seated; and her husband, Ed Collins, seated far right, enjoy a boat ride Aug. 1 with Richard Greiner and his 14-year-old son, Matthew, from St. Clair Shores. The outing was part of the Huron Pointe Yacht Club’s 46th annual MDA boat ride and barbecue.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Dave Schankin gets ready to take David Perez, 9, out onto Lake St. Clair during the MDA event. Perez is joined by his parents, Dave and Erica Perez, and grandmother Nancy Pelka, of Clinton Township.

Dave Schankin gets ready to take David Perez, 9, out onto Lake St. Clair during the MDA event. Perez is joined by his parents, Dave and Erica Perez, and grandmother Nancy Pelka, of Clinton Township.

Photo by Donna Agusti

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Warren resident Richard Fahndrich looks forward to early August every year.

It’s when he and other patients served by the Muscular Dystrophy Association head out to the Huron Pointe Yacht Club in Harrison Township for a day of boating and barbecue.

“We just went out (and) looked at the scenery,” said Fahndrich, 30, after his boat returned to the yacht club’s docks during the event Aug. 1. “I like coming and meeting new people.”

Fahndrich, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 3, said he learned of the annual event through his contacts at the MDA.

“It’s something I think everyone looks forward to,” he said.

Event chairperson Faye LaPorte said some 60 patients and caregivers attended this year’s event, the 46th annual edition.

And, she said, it was another perfect day.

“In the 46 years we’ve held this, it has never rained,” LaPorte said. “We lucked out again.”

Helping load patients onto the boats were firefighters from Sterling Heights and Harrison Township.

Not only do the members of the Huron Pointe Yacht Club donate their own boats and refreshments, they also reach into their wallets to donate money to the MDA.

Kendra Kroll, with MDA Greater Detroit, said that with such contributions, the organization is able to continue providing comprehensive services through local MDA clinics and advance its research efforts to find treatments and cures for more than 40 neuromuscular diseases.

Nick Gulch, 19, the Ohio MDA ambassador, traveled all the way from Toledo with his parents to attend the event.

“We got to watch one of the (Macomb County) sheriff’s (firefighting) boats spray water,” Gulch said. “It was cool.”

Gulch enjoyed the boat ride and barbecue, and was able to spend time with his best friend, Billy Batty, 25, of Harrison Township.

Batty, a first mate on one of the boats, said it’s important what members of the Huron Pointe Yacht Club do for the MDA each year. His father is a longtime member of the club.

“It’s all for a good cause, and they’re going out on boats and having fun,” he said. “It’s a nice way to spend the day.”

For more information about the MDA, visit mda.org/office/detroit-area.