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FWSA Marks Milestone: Celebrating 50 Years at January 17th, 2024 General Meeting

What a Sail-a-bration!
What a Sail-a-bration!

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, Luffing Lassie

Harpist, Joelle Hudson de Tarnowsky, Luffing Lassie


Ardith Rutland, Founder

Melissa Rutland is the granddaughter of Ardith Rutland, FWSA founder, past president, and Salty Sister.

FWSA Secretary, Bitter Ends

Pam Miller, Bitter Ends, and FWSA Secretary

FWSA Education Chair and Luffing Lassie

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.


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