Riley’s Yacht Club in Hamilton Beach holding raffle for repairs

Riley’s Yacht Club, which has been a staple in the Hamilton Beach community since 1965, is asking residents for a helping hand.

The club is looking to raise money through a raffle for damage sustained by Hurricane Sandy, since the club delayed fixing the damage in an effort to provide relief to storm victims.

The yacht club was closed for three days following the storm but re-opened as a pop-up relief center that served food and hosted events like a Christmas party for children in the neighborhood. The relief center ran through January 2013.

“We kept the place going and we neglected our damages and eventually we thought like everybody else did, we thought we were going to get insurance, we thought we would be covered by FEMA,” said Richard Brew, the commodore for the yacht club. “We were covered by nothing.”

Brew said the club has repaired a few damages with money from their pockets but is looking for help from the community to replace the rotting floorboards, the damaged kitchen and to push their deck back into place. The plumbing and wiring for the building also needs to be replaced.

Each raffle ticket costs $100 and only 200 tickets will be available for purchase. The first-, second- and third-place winners will go home with $7,500, $2,000 and $500 respectively. The deadline to buy tickets is Sept. 8 and everyone who purchases a raffle ticket is invited to Riley’s Yacht Club on Sept. 12 for a party to announce the winners.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo worked with Riley’s Yacht Club to host pop-up relief centers and said the club has always been crucial in providing a space and support for the community, long before and after Hurricane Sandy.

“Riley’s being a slightly higher elevation, Riley’s became a very integral part of the recovery for Hamilton Beach,” Addabbo said. “It became that site where people can get information, food, clothing and now it’s essential for the recovery effort. We’re forever grateful for that and to get financial assistance for Riley’s is the right thing to do.”

In addition to being a cheaper alternative for boat owners to park their vehicles, Riley’s Yacht Club is the host of Hamilton Beach Civic meetings and a site for city officials from FEMA and other Sandy relief agencies to share crucial information with residents.

“The offered us hot food, warm clothes and sometimes a shoulder to cry on but no matter what, they were here for us,” Roger Gendron, Hamilton Beach Civic Association president, said in a Facebook post. “Now is our time to be there for one of them. Let’s give back to those who gave so much to us.”