1st Annual Water Jubilee
In September 2020, CIOR hosted our 1st Annual Water Jubilee. Since we were deep into the COVID pandemic it was a natural way to get together safely as a community while socially distancing on the water.
It included a kayak challenge around City Island in the morning and a sailing race in Eastchester Bay in the afternoon. This was followed by a reception and awards ceremony at the Morris Yacht Club. It was great fun and a successful fundraising event.
National Oyster Day Virtual 5K
In honor of National Oyster Day on August 5, 2020, CIOR had a Virtual 5K run on August 3 and 4, hosted by the City Island Roadies. Participants were encouraged to walk/run/skip/hop virtually for 3.1 miles anywhere at any time over the weekend. Everyone who participated will received a special CIOR canvas tote bag.
In February, a Mardi Gras fundraiser with a lively jazz ensemble brightened up the month just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which then required us to cancel all other 2020 events.
CIOR hosted a holiday party at the Harlem Yacht Club in December to thank our volunteers and restaurant partners for their participation in our programs.
Many members of the community attended our old-fashioned “social” at an historic waterfront home on the Island in September 2019. Local restaurants donated sumptuous signature appetizers and entrees, and organizations and businesses provided beer, wine, and gift items for our silent auction, which included sailing excursions, historic tours, theater tickets, private dinners, scuba-diving certification, and works of art.
At our launch in May 2019 held at the Harlem Yacht Club, NYS Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and City Councilmember Mark Gjonaj expressed their support for CIOR, and Mr. Benedetto followed through with a small grant from the State of New York. In addition, Mr. Benedetto later introduced a bill to the NY Assembly that would benefit restaurants that provide shells to groups like ours.
The City Island Oyster Reef was launched in the spring of 2019 and became a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization in December. We have begun to apply for grants, but our primary efforts have been in hosting events to educate the community about our goals in order to inspire donations as well as to engage volunteers.
The funds raised from these events helped to pay for a summer intern and to purchase shell collection supplies, a pick-up truck (for shell collection), insurance, and gas, as well as water-quality monitoring equipment.