Supervisor Don Knabe will come to Mothers Beach in the Marina next week to note a program designed to give youths sailing opportunities in Marina del Rey.

The program is being conducted by the Boys & Girls Club of Venice, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Fairwind Yacht Club in the Marina.

Started in the winter of 2002, the program uses small boats and adult supervision to provide sailing lessons, sailing experiences and leadership training to members of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice and youths from East Los Angeles.

Many of the participants had never before had sailing experiences.

The program began with the donation by the Sheriff’s Department of two 22-foot boats.

“Each Wednesday after school volunteers from Fairwind would take Boys & Girls Club members out sailing,” said David Lumian, project director and Fairwind Yacht Club fleet captain.

“It has just been a wonderful experience.

“We have had people join our club just so they can participate in this program and spend time with youngsters again,” Lumian said.

Last summer, the program expanded and Hobie Cats and kayaks were made available to the young participants.

“Last year we ran the program one week and this year we are doing six weeks,” Lumian said.

About 40 youngsters are involved in the program, he said.

“We are teaching them how to sail but, more importantly, we are also teaching them leadership skills,” Lumian said.

The program has also received a grant from the Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation, he said.

Next week’s program acknowledgement event with Supervisor Knabe is planned between 9 and 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 21st, at Mothers Beach, 4101 Admiralty Way.

The event is open to the public.

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