On February 1, 2024, U.S. Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, presented Community Sailing New Orleans (CSNO) with the Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion Award at the 2024 National Sailing Programs Symposium. The award, named in honor of Mr. John B. “Jim” Kilroy, Sr., is given annually to a Program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing by finding and including people in their program that would normally have no access to sailing. CSNO’s Operations Director, Khari Parrish, and new Executive Director, Matt Wierzbach accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Since 2020, CSNO has provided programming for more than 2,400 individuals. Most students would never have had the opportunity to experience the unique lake-based educational programs if it wasn’t for the outreach conducted by CSNO. In the last three years, the organization has proactively developed over 25 community partnerships with the goal of reaching deep into the community to provide no or low-cost programs.

Community Sailing’s diverse programs serve youth; minority communities; individuals with disabilities – physical and cognitive; women and girls; veterans; and anyone facing economic barriers to sailing. In collaboration with local community partners, the organization delivers programming that develops independence, improved communication, rehabilitation support and additional workforce readiness skills including focus, goal-setting skills, problem solving and conflict resolution abilities. Operating from The Libby and Robert Alexander Community Sailing Center, the curriculum is thoughtfully designed to ensure accessibility to everyone – all ramps are ADA compliant, the finger piers for the wet slips are wide enough for wheelchair accessibility.

Filled with gratitude, our board, staff, and volunteers move into the 2024 season excited to create more opportunities for ALL communities in metro New Orleans. Community Sailing New Orleans is supported by the generosity of local foundations, corporations, and individuals.