RANGER SAILING FOUNDATION LEADS THE WAY IN PROVIDING HANDS ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTH IN NEED
the club’s Junior Sailing program through which he had started the Big Boat program that has given 14 to 18 year olds ocean sailing experience and the opportunity to pilot and crew his own boat in the Around Long Island Regatta.
“The mission of the yacht club was to promote sailing and it appeared we were limiting that mission just to those who could afford to join a club,” explained Mr. Bass in response to questions from Northwordnews. “What about other youth in the area whose parents couldn’t afford a club?”
While Commodore, he had proposed starting a foundation that would award scholarships to local youth to participate in Junior sailing. “I was given the green light as long as I started the foundation and raised the funds to award the scholarships,” he said. “This was an effort on the part of the club to show they are active members of the community.”
The Ranger program launched last summer with scholarships being awarded to two Glen Cove Middle School students, Adam and Rafael, who were chosen with the input of the staff of the Glen Cove Boys and Girls Club. This upcoming summer he said he hopes to double the enrollment.
As for the name of the program, Mr. Bass’s father, William, a decorated Army Ranger who successfully landed at Pointe Du Hoc in Normandy on D-Day, was the inspiration.
“He was one of those who belonged to the greatest generation that set the tone for this country following World War II,” he said.
William had instilled in his son two mottos central to the Ranger creed.
“The first being, ‘Rangers Lead the Way,’” Mr. Bass explained. “Which I interpreted as setting an example for others to follow.”
“The second,” he continued, “‘No Man Left Behind,” which he said he has interpreted to mean “no child left behind.”
Mr. Bass is no stranger to education as a profession, having been a Math teacher in the New York City schools many years ago. Since retiring from a career working for the MTA followed by running a consulting practice, he has returned to the classroom as a Robotics teacher at the Greenvale School, in addition to his duties there as the Chief Systems Administrator. He is now in the final stages of working towards a Doctorate in information science through which he hopes to develop assistive technology that will improve the educational outcomes for some children diagnosed with autism.
The robotics experience, he explained, has taught him that many students need work with fine motor skills, and considering himself “a pretty handy guy,” he decided to make building the boat central to the Ranger Sailing experience.
The boats, Optimist class are built from kits ordered from South Africa and meet the specifications and requirements of the Long Island Sound Junior Sailing Association. So far, one boat has been completed, a second is nearly done, and a third about 60% complete.
While Mr. Bass has been the mainstay of the operation, he, Adam and Rafael received help in constructing the boats from Kevin Bachner, David Lawson, and Tom Kaelin, as well as Lou Giserman, who has also done a great deal to publicize the Ranger Foundation and his good friend's work.
"Harvey Bass is a tireless worker who has found time to help kids in our community attend sailing camp, who otherwise would be unable to afford this summer activity," said Mr. Giserman in response to questions from Northwordnews. "Harvey has not only raised money but has also used his own sweat to build boats for these kids to get first-hand sailing skills."
He continued that not only has it been beneficial for Adam and Rafael, but also the Sea Cliff Yacht Club and all the children who attend the club's summer program.
"I'm proud to call Harvey a friend," he said.
The Ranger Sailing Foundation is a 501(3)(c) charity. Donations can be sent to Ranger Sailing Foundation Inc., 42 The Boulevard, Sea Cliff, New York 11579.
Story by Northwordnews
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Photos below of the Art and Auction Fundraiser by Kathleen DiResta