Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas held its annual sailing event, Hobie Day, on Saturday, August 6, at Lake Travis for hundreds of Littles in the BBBS program. Over 200 Littles, their family members and mentors enjoyed swimming and sailing on catamarans and sailboats. The Austin Cats, a group of sailing enthusiasts, have hosted the event for nearly forty years.
“It’s a great way for Bigs and Littles to learn a new skill together,” said Joe Strychalski, VP of Programs. “It gives them the chance to encourage each other and work as a team.”
Hobie Day is one of the few BBBS organized events where Bigs and Littles get to spend time with the Little’s family members as well. In addition to sailing, attendees enjoyed swimming, playing games and lounging along the shoreline.
“We’ve been matched for two and a half years, but this is the first time we’ve been able to come,” said Little Sister Kira. “We will definitely be back next year.”
The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers. The Austin Yacht Club and the Young Men’s Service League Cavalier’s Chapter provided over 25 volunteers who helped with tasks like equipping attendees with life jackets, assisting people as they got onto the boats and cleaning up after the event. Throughout the years, the Austin Cats have also donated countless hours of their time preparing for and hosting the event.
“Our fleet really enjoys the opportunity to show off the sport of sailing,” said Mike Beuerlein of the Austin Cats. “We know the kids can sail successfully, and we really love to give them the chance to see that they can do it.”
Hobie Day is one of many ways BBBS works to empower and support kids, while also giving Bigs and Littles the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with one another.
“The two of us go swimming all the time, but we’ve never sailed or done anything like this before,” said Big Sister Trisha. “This has been the perfect way to finish off the summer together.”
See more photos on our Flickr album here