Beth Willhoite and Joey Chomyn Youth Sailing Program Scholarships

2021 Update – This season the scholarship fund supported  7 student sailors.  Most significantly, scholarship recipients were participating in Recruits to Mates to ATG and Race Team.  Thank you everyone for donating, and please help for next season!

Background – A few years ago, Gus MacDonald donated a scholarship to the Harraseeket Youth Sailing Program. After seeing the success of this scholarship, the Board formed a scholarship committee to establish a formal program that would define the purpose, funding and candidate selection. Shortly thereafter, HYC created the Beth Willhoite Youth Sailing Scholarship Fund. Beth was a much-loved and long term member of HYC who was dedicated to the growth and education of children throughout her career and most recently as the Principal of the Mast Landing School in Freeport. The purpose of this fund is to give children, who otherwise would not be able to attend the HYC sailing program, the opportunity to learn to sail and gain confidence on the water. The core mission of the Harraseeket Yacht Club is to promote youth sailing and we feel privileged to honor Beth’s memory in this manner.
HYC is announcing the call to support and fund the Joey Chomyn Scholarship.

As many of you know, Joey, 17 years old, was tragically killed in a powerboating accident on Saturday, August 11, 2018, on the Sono River in South Carolina.
Joey was raised on the coast of Freeport, Maine. From an early age, he could be seen lobstering and motoring to sailing lessons at our Harraseeket Yacht Club, where he was a leader within our youth sailing program.

The sport of sailing was a passion for Joey. He won the Maine State Youth Sailing Championship by the age of 13 and various other club championships. Joey sailed both recreationally and within competitive races throughout the Northeast Junior Sailing circuit. In South Carolina, he was Captain of the sailing team, was well known in the sailing community and most recently skippered and won a national race in the Lightning class of the US Sailing Junior Championships.
Joey and his parents, John and June and sisters Claire and Mallerie have been HYC members since 2010. John was an active board member, chairing the Youth Sailing Program for a number of years. They recently relocated to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. John and June’s beautiful sloop, Annie, could be seen at her Winslow mooring upon moving thru the channel.
We are now encouraging HYC membership, if so inclined, to contribute to Joey’s fund. All of Joey’s and Beth’s scholarship funds go towards providing young sailors, who would otherwise be unable to afford HYC YSP tuition, to attend HYC’s sailing program on scholarship and be exposed to the world of sailing.
We are currently providing 16 weeks of scholarship tuition and depending on our success with Joey’s fund may extend to another 8 weeks this season. All recipients are chosen by Freeport Community Services, Freeport Middle School and Freeport High School.

The Scholarship Committee has purchased a beautiful ship’s bell to be placed in the clubhouse commemorating Joey.

The Goal – Secure funding through member donations, sponsors and the community sufficient to provide a minimum of two scholarships forever.

The selection process – We will utilize Freeport Community Services, Freeport Middle School and Freeport High School to recommend appropriate candidates for the scholarship. They have a process and staff in place to perform this process. We felt that utilizing FCS would be a much more effective and efficient than HYC attempting to create this on our own.

How to contribute – Write a check made out to HYC with “Beth Willhoite Scholarship” or “Joey Chomyn Scholarship” written on the memo line in the lower left-hand corner of the check. Please let us know if you would like to remain anonymous. Otherwise, we will recognize you on the HYC website. Checks should be sent to HYC, P.O. Box 82, South Freeport, ME 04078.

Is my contribution tax-deductible? No, HYC is not a non-profit at this point in time.
When will scholarship selection happen? The selection process will begin this month and will be conducted during the month of March each year.
What does it cost to fund a single scholarship? There are several sailing program offerings but the cost for 2019 ranges between $700 and $1,100.
Will I know which child benefits from my contribution? No. The process is intended to be blind and the recipients’ names will be confidential.
How will we know how the scholarship funding is progressing? We’ll have an area of the HYC website that monitors progress and recognizes donors.

Questions, etc. please feel free to contact David Kaufman at