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Vallarta Yacht Club Exceeds Job-Saving Fundraiser Goals

When Vallarta Yacht Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, was forced to close its doors in March due to COVID-19, the members embarked upon a mission to help their employees. Their subsequent fundraising campaign, S.O.S. (Save Our Staff), exceeded expectations and returned more than enough money to keep paying their nine permanent staff through the remainder of 2020.

Previous Staff Commodore Dick Locke said, “We calculated we needed to raise $45,000 USD to meet that goal. Our members met that goal within two weeks of the fundraising program and kept on donating.”

Vallarta Yacht Club entrance
The crew aboard Call of the Sea’s schooner Seaward have fond memories of the excellent hospitality afforded them during their three-week stay at the yacht club’s dock.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Aside from the satisfaction of knowing their efforts were for a good cause, members who donated were named on a plaque that was to be hung on the wall. “It’s a small club with about 160 members, and a survey told us that staff are what everyone likes most,” Locke said.

In light of health regulations and the club’s scattered membership, fundraising was done strictly by email. “We sent out five or six emails and passed $45,000 in the first two weeks. We were going to follow up the emails with personal calls, but we didn’t need to.” And with the realization that the pandemic-driven difficulties would likely last well into 2021, it was decided to keep the campaign rolling. “We wound up with $71,000.”

Support has also come from the club’s landlord, Paradise Village Hotel, which has forgiven four months of rent — an additional $14,000 worth of assistance, which Dick said has been “a big help!”

Just this week the Vallarta Yacht Club board voted to reopen the club as of August 1. Outside dining and takeout are permitted under local law.

Pacific Puddle Jump briefing inside Vallarta YC.
Vallarta YC is also a great meet-up and jump-off point for cruisers participating in events such as the Baja Ha-Ha and the Pacific Puddle Jump.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

As well as a seven-day-a-week restaurant, the club operates a sailing school for local children and offers scholarships to those who can’t afford the fees. One of the club’s best-known features is its small-boat regattas. They host an annual WesMex International Small Boat Regatta  — considered one of the most important regattas in the Mexican Circuit — and in 2021 the club will host the Optimist North American Championships. The club also hosts cruising regattas such as the Banderas Bay Regatta, which is on the Baja Ha-Ha calendar.

Small boats coming home to Vallarta Yacht Club
Watching the juniors sail in and out provides plenty of entertainment during afternoon cocktails on the deck.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

You can learn more about Vallarta Yacht Club here.



  1. paul 4 years ago

    Excellent club. So happy to see the members help the staff out! If you are in the area, come enjoy the food/drink and huge OUTDOOR deck.

  2. Tim Dick 4 years ago

    Terrific – congratulations to all. We enjoy visiting.

  3. Pat McIntosh 4 years ago

    Another item they have been VERY helpful with is the Barra de Navidad CRUIE-IN-WEEK. These guys and gals have helped paint, clean, carry, and organize activities to help the kids & schools in Barra. This last year, even repainting the library in the Barrio was on the list. They are a bunch of great folks!

  4. milly Biller 4 years ago

    I love that such a small, dedicated club can do so much !

  5. Ibis de teresa 4 years ago

    Amazing VYC always!!

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