Something’s gotta get done

Labor Day Regatta - Lock Haven’s Pocono 500 - is in jeopardy unless ...

t is not an exaggeration to say the future of the Lock Haven Area Jaycees’ Labor Day Regatta — the largest powerboat race of its kind in the United States — is in jeopardy.

Why?

A lack of Jaycees … a lack of volunteers … a lack of local support to sustain it.

It is a recurring problem … one we’ve reported and one we’ve written about for many years now.

In three weeks, amid the high-pitch scream of powerboat engines marking their arrival, hundreds of powerboat racers, their family members, supporters and visitors will converge on Lock Haven for the 49th year of the famous regatta.

This event is known across America.

“You gotta regatta” as the saying goes.

It’s a celebration of and for Lock Haven and Clinton County.

In the world of powerboat racing, it’s Lock Haven’s Pocono 500.

So what is being done to bolster the ranks of the Jaycees so the Regatta — and the club’s other benevolent initiatives — can strengthen and be sustained?

Not enough.

First, however …

Thanks, Ron Peters and L.W. Peters Disposal Inc. for your long-term, invaluable support of the Jaycees and Regatta all these past years. You have provided garbage bins and collected garbage from the Regatta for FREE.

Thanks to the former Hanna Electric for all of the years past helping with lighting and electrical needs.

Thanks, Rob Emert of Emert & Associates for stepping up to provide the Jaycees with a storage bay for equipment … tents, light poles, 55-gallon drums, etc.

Thanks, too, to Stephen Poorman for helping the Jaycees out of a financial jam a few years back.

Thanks, too, to many others who have played a part in keeping the Jaycees in good standing.

It is unfortunate the organization continues to struggle with membership and manpower.

Folks, DuWayne Kunes — a Jaycee for 33 years — tells us his direct involvement will come to an end in a couple of years.

Then what?

“It is a huge, huge event with a big impact on the area. A lot of man hours are needed to make it happen … it’s a never ending battle with fewer Jaycees each year,” Kunes told the Express for a Page 1 story last Saturday.

“We really need people to step up and join so the boat regatta doesn’t die … and there is a real possibility of that over the next couple of years,” Kunes warned. “I’ll see it through to 50. I’ll be 61 this year. I can’t keep up. I just can’t do it. We are in jeopardy of losing our two senior dinners and we help families at Christmas time. We try to use the resources that we have. There is talk about the chapter being pulled. All the stuff that we do would come to an end.”

Anyone listening?

There are options … and in our opinion, those options involve partnering with organizations and institutions in the community with similar or common missions to build support and manpower.

2020 will mark 50 years of the Regatta.

Or will it?

Stay tuned.

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