Steve Turner recently received an Outstanding Service Award for his 12 years of volunteer service to Juneau Youth Sailing. Turner and three others volunteered in 1997 to create a low-cost, nonprofit sailing program for Juneau kids. Through hundreds of hours of fundraising and teaching, this group organized a summer program of lessons on the water.
Chris Miller, another longtime teacher and advocate of the program, commended Turner for his work.
"Steve worked tirelessly to advocate for the program, both giving up his own vacation days in order to teach kids and his nights for running fundraising efforts," he said. "His craftsmanship on the water has brought the joy of sailing to literally hundreds of Juneau kids. His tenacity in sticking with the program for 12 years has been critical to establishing this program as a permanent gift to the kids of Juneau. Kids love the freedom and sense of accomplishment from being captain of their own boats."
Since inception, Juneau Youth Sailing has provided more than 1,000 kids with summer sailing lessons (www.juneauyouthsailinginc.com). The program has survived only due to long-term support from the Juneau Yacht Club, Alaska Marine Lines, the Rasmuson Foundation, the Skaggs Foundation, the City of Juneau, Princess Cruise Lines, and numerous community members. Through fundraising and the income from adult classes, JYS purchased 10 small sailing boats and more than 60 drysuits for protection against the cold water. Program graduates have gone on to compete successfully in national high school and college racing. Class sign-up begins each February.