PALMETTO - On July 1, Deborah Ross became the first female commodore of the Bradenton Yacht Club.
At the Change of Watch ceremony held June 27, more than 140 people saw the transfer of the gavel to the new commodore. A standing ovation and applause cheered the historic moment as the members confirmed their support for Ross. As the outgoing commodore, I would like to congratulate her on this momentous achievement.
The journey to become the first female commodore started three years ago, like the journeys of most commodores who preceded her. Starting out as rear commodore, the responsibilities start with what previous commodores and I call "the hardest job of all," overseeing finances, the yacht basin, the long-range planning and all the grounds and buildings. As vice commodore, the responsibility shifts to overseeing entertainment, membership and publicity. As commodore, Ross will oversee all the club's operations, run board meetings and maintain the Bradenton Yacht Club's boating traditions.
"It's a tremendous honor," Ross said. "It means a lot to me that the club put their trust in me when they nominated me as rear commodore in 2007. I'm passionate about the club and the people there."
Ross said uncertainties lie ahead due to the recent financial strains on the community, but she is up for the challenge.
"I feel good about where we stand today," she said. "We budgeted right on the money, and our club is debt free and operating in the black."
According to its Web site, The Bradenton Yacht Club was organized, chartered and incorporated on May 11, 1946. The present property was purchased in December 1966. Construction on the original structure was completed in January 1968. A mortgage burning party on Nov. 21, 1986, celebrated the "paid-in-full" status of the building and land.
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