GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara Sailing Club is filled with nearly a century of memories. Generations of families have packed the club each summer since 1934. Saturday afternoon a fire broke out, leaving little of the club left.
"People put blood, sweat and tears into this place," Erie Pecoraro, a past commodore of the Niagara Sailing Club, said.
"Families have been here for many years. We're highly invested in the club whether we're first generation, second generation, third or fourth generation," Kevin Labin, the commodore of Niagara Sailing Club, said.
Investigators are still determining the cause of the fire. Last year was a difficult for the club. While more members joined, the club lost revenue from canceled events. Members of the club hoped 2021 would bring back more action.
"We were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine. We were really hopeful that we were going to see a good year financially and socially with our family and friends," Pecoraro said, "It's heartbreaking."
Now, the club will focus on rebuilding and replacing all the equipment that was lost. But that comes at a steep cost.
"Fortunately we have insurance. Unfortunately, it's a small insurance policy," Pecoraro said.
With little equipment left, club members worry their junior sailing program, where kids learn to sail, may not happen this summer.
"We'll look for donations for junior sailing. We'll look for help," Labin said.
"But certainly we have a challenge ahead of us to do some fundraising to be able to pull off a program this summer," Pecoraro said.
There is a GiveButter account where you can donate if you are interested in helping the club.