The One and Only American Legion Post with a Yacht Club
New members and visitors are often intrigued with the combination of a yacht club with Post 291. The interesting history of this association dates back to the late 60’s before any of us were members. The leadership at that time thought it a good idea to form a Yacht Club at the Post in order to offer members an affordable way to get involved in boating and sailing. The club steadily grew over the years and became widely known as not only one of the most active yacht clubs in Southern California, but also one of the most involved with civic events and veteran causes. The ALYC membership mirrors that of the Post, with active members from the Legion, Auxiliary, and SAL’s. Nearly 15% of the total Post membership is also a member of the ALYC.
Post 291’s on-water location in a premier harbor on the west coast makes this the perfect place to host a yacht club. What ALYC offers for members is a compelling part of the mix of opportunities available to members at Post 291, and certainly distinct from any other Post in the country. ALYC prides itself on offering multiple activities for veterans and their families who all share a love of the sea. Core to its overall mission is to provide relaxation and connection opportunities for veterans and their families. With dozens of planned events, cruises, and races each year, there are multiple opportunities for members to interact and enjoy new friendships and also some friendly competition.
These connection and fellowship opportunities are vital to many veterans, who are often most comfortable around other veterans. Sharing stories on a boat or around a campfire achieves one of the goals for ALYC. When combined with Veteran Outreach initiatives, such as Wounded Warrior Boating events or Sail for the Visually Impaired, members are able to extend these connection opportunities and experiences into our community and directly to our veterans that yearn to feel the comradery and esprit de corps they once felt in the service.
ALYC offers programs that appeal to every interest on, in, or under the water. Activities range from social and relaxing to physically and mentally challenging, so there is something for everybody. One membership fee to ALYC opens a member to traditional activities such as boating, sailing, and racing, and now even diving and snorkeling and model boat racing. The club owns several vessels, including sailboats available for member use. Details on all activities are on the club website at alyc.com.
The proud heritage of ALYC and Post 291 is connected over the last 54 years, and part of the fabric of Newport Beach. There’s always more to tell with this colorful history, so next time you’re at the Post, look for a member with an ALYC logo and ask to hear a favorite memory. Even better, join ALYC and begin making your own memories with your friends of the sea.