The purchase of BCYC’s land and marina unintentionally started in Staff Commodore Steve Askew’s year, 1988. The board felt that, to attract new members, we needed a real club manager to have a solid financial standing and be a viable alternative to the other clubs in the area. We hired a young man, Tim Bakels, a great choice who had an immediate impact.

In early 1990, we dared to dream we could strengthen our position even more by purchasing the land. We put together a committee to study it. Soon, rumors about what the committee was considering were flying about – some were even true! I thought we needed to have a way to get the right message to the membership. Knowing each staff commodore had a constituency that they could tell our story to, the quarterly staff commodore’s breakfast began. This was the chosen vehicle to get our message to the members.

The next thing we did, and probably the best, was to ask Bill Ward to head up a land purchase committee. 1990 turned into 1991 and after a lot of work, we submitted our proposal to Irvine Company. After a couple months of meetings, they rejected our proposal. Shortly thereafter, the Irvine Company opened up several parcels of land for sale, including the land we sit on. Again BCYC, headed by Bill, went back to work to revise the proposal. At the first meeting, the Irvine Company asked why we didn’t include the marina. Back we went to work, doing our due diligence, very excited about the prospect of possibly purchasing the marina and land. Several months and many meetings later with city officials, government agencies and the Irvine Company, we signed the documents as I recall, during Staff Commodore Bob Foresman’s year, 1994. Five years after we dared to dream, BCYC was the only club, at that time west of the Mississippi, to own its club, land and marina.

Most all the credit goes to Bill, who carried us across the finish line, along with all the officers, directors and members who helped keep the dream alive. Hence the name Bill Ward on our board room door.

Don Willet, Staff Commodore 1980