CBYC 14th Almost Annual Flotilla Raises More Than $10,000 for GBS

GBS students and their families enjoyed a great day at the beach while raising funds.

By car and by boat, hundreds of residents of all ages descended on Miss Vie’s Campground beach on Saturday afternoon, March 26, for the Coral Bay Yacht Club’s 14th Almost Annual Flotilla.

The event raised more than $10,000 for Guy Benjamin School, the Coral Bay public elementary school. Despite being under the weather with a serious flu, CBYC Commodore Dave Dostall was one of the more than 250 people who made it out to the beach for a day of fun in the sun.

“What an incredible day, what I can remember of it,” said Dostall. “So many thanks to everybody. Looks like we did pretty well for the school, and with lots of help and support from faculty and staff and everyone else at the school and all the parents.”

“I still think it is the greatest party on the island every year,” Dostall said.

The island’s premier reggae band Inner Visions ensured that no one left the beach early while local food donated by GBS parents and fresh grilled hot dogs and hamburgers donated by Skinny Legs ensured no one went hungry.

About a dozen CBYC members and friends sailed over to the East End beach, offering a great day sail with lunch and live entertainment for the bargain deal of $40. Attendees were also welcome to arrive by car and pay $20 for admission, lunch and music.

After arriving at the beach on Coral Bay’s tall ship Silver Cloud, GBS students played in the sea under a perfect beach day sky.

Alvin “Jupiter” Pickering of Inner Visions poses with students from Guy Benjamin School.

Cars lined the East End road in both directions, testament to the huge crowd drawn to the party by land as well.

More than 25 prizes were raffled off with the grand prize of $500 cash going to Gifft Hill School student Marina Scheer on her birthday. The day was such a success thanks in large part to the support from GBS parents, explained the school’s principal Dionne Wells.

“It was the best Flotilla I’ve ever been to,” said Wells. “I really have to hand it to my school parents, they donated all of the food and were out there getting raffle prizes. There was a lot of support for the Flotilla this year by the parents.”

GBS will use the funds this year to improve the school’s technology capabilities, according to Wells.

“We had a faculty meeting just this morning to decide what to use the money for this year,” said the principal last week. “We decided we are going to focus on improving the technology we have in the classrooms. We’re looking at getting iPads for the computer centers in the classrooms to help with remediation in reading and math.”

“We also talked about upgrading our classroom libraries to get more books for students to use for independent reading,” said Wells. “And we want to purchase an online math program which will serve as a resource for students to use in addition to the text books that we have.”

GBS staff thanked everyone who made the day such a success, Wells added.

“It was a gorgeous day and everyone had so much fun,” said Wells. “And the funds are really going to improve the technology in our classrooms.”

CBYC officials also sent thanks to all Flotilla supporters.

“Thanks to all who came out and partied all day to the sounds of Inner Visions and all who helped make the Flotilla happen,” said Julie Fortunato, CBYC treasurer. “It was a great time.”