The FWSA celebrated its 50th anniversary at The Meadows Country Club
in Sarasota, FL, on January 17, 2024. The celebration and general
meeting were hosted by the Luffing Lassies and coordinated by Luffing
Lassie and party planner extraordinaire Rosemary McMullen.
A festive atmosphere of beautiful gold and white 50th-anniversary
decorations greeted arriving members. Harpist and Luffing Lassie Joelle
Hudson de Tarnowsky played a collection of contemporary and Celtic
music while sailors mingled and socialized in their nautically themed
attire. There were plenty of blue and white striped shirts and sailing
hats, while a few creative jackets and dresses were added to the mix. Luffing
Lassie Lee Parks looked stylish in her fancy nautical jacket, while Melissa
Rutland, the granddaughter of past president Salty Sister and FWSA
founder Ardith Rutland looked picture-perfect in her nautical flag skirt
, blue and white coat, and scarf.
Bitter Ends Pam Miller breezed through her job as FWSA secretary in a sailor dress with anchor pockets and a big red bow.
FWSA President Joy Sheets started the celebration with a big welcome to all members. A special welcome was given to five Windward Women from the Halifax Sailing Association of Daytona Beach, FL, attending their first FWSA meeting and
event. Halifax Sailing Association Commodore Lisa Herbster and Wind Ward Captain Kathy Sinnett led them. We also offered a goodbye and toast to the
Bitter Ends lifetime social chair Sylvia Turner who passed away in
Following the general meeting, Dinghy Dame Lynn Randall and Bitter End Anne Chotkowski led a long-range planning discussion table discussing one of eight themes the Long Range Planning Committee brought forward.
Lunch was served, and the Anniversary program followed with the story of the founding of the FWSA. All FWSA Past Presidents were recognized with a red rose, and a champagne toast was offered in honor of 50 years of sailing sisterhood.
The celebration continued with line dancing to burn off the calories from the
delicious 50th-anniversary chocolate cupcakes served for dessert.
Many members began dancing, but only six hardy sailors danced until the celebration was concluded at 2:00 pm.
Congratulations, FWSA, for 50 beautiful years of promoting women in
Marge Whiteman, FWSA Publicity Chair and Bitter Ends member
Harpist, Joelle Hudson de Tarnowsky, Luffing Lassie
Melissa Rutland is the granddaughter of Ardith Rutland, FWSA founder, past president, and Salty Sister.
Pam Miller, Bitter Ends, and FWSA Secretary
Lee Parks, Luffing Lassie, and FWSA Education Co-Chair
The Windward Women from the Halifax Sailing Association in Daytona Beach, FL.
FWSA Past Presidents present for the 50th-anniversary celebration.
The Windlasses from Dunedin
The Luffing Lassies are hosts of the FWSA 50th Anniversary and General Meeting.
We are celebrating on the dance floor with some line dancing.