May, 2018

The official online publication
of the Birch Lake Yacht Club
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Finally ... SPRING!

It's been a long time getting here but Spring has finally arrived at Birch Lake ... That's a heron that visited the other morning and fished for a while off my pier.

Commodore's Comments
Happy May, everyone!  Our patience is paying off … we’re nearly at the Memorial Day target for our ‘official’ start of the season!  I, for one, was not very happy that we had the coldest April on record – with some days having temps colder than the temps in Alaska.  I hope this isn’t a repeating trend!  I see more piers and boats in the water so we’re on the right track.  May is truly living up to its “merry merry month of May” ditty with Day 1 being in the 80’s!

I hope everyone remembered to send in their RSVP for the Spring Dinner, which will be at The Rock on Saturday, May 19 (5:30-6:30 Social Hour and 6:45 Dinner).  If time slipped by and you forgot, please check with me ( as there may be a possibility to squeeze a couple more people into the numbers.  It’ll be nice to catch up with friends we haven’t seen since last fall.

Don’t forget we have scheduled our Road Clean-up for Saturday, May 12.  Plan to meet at the Public Landing at 10:15 to pick up your collection bags and get all the details from Ed Chester, our chairman for this worthwhile event.  Don’t forget to bring gloves!

In addition to Memorial Day, we have other things to celebrate in May.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms on the lake – have a wonderful day of being spoiled.  Congratulations to high school and college graduates – best of luck on your future endeavors.   And finally a big “Welcome Back” to everyone returning to their little piece of heaven on Birch Lake.

Cheers ~ Commodore Karen

Scentsy Open House
Everyone is invited to a Scentsy Open House on Saturday, May 5, 10 am - 12:30 pm at Sandy Baucus' home, 63344 Birch Rd. Come see and smell the new burners and smells that Scentsy has this season! Orders only. Breakfast goodies and beverages will be served. Please give me a call if you can make it. 476-7211. Happy Spring!

Thanks for your patience!
Nick and I just wanted to thank everyone for their patience during the construction of our new home on Birch Lake. We look forward to spending many more years at Birch Lake.
~Vice Commodore Angela Bergan

Barker Kids of the Month

Barker KOTM kudos to Gavin and his Duck! Gavin Andis is the grandson of Commodore Karen and Eric Miller (east side).

The Petty family (North Shore) is now a family of 6!  Ben, Cam, and Cooper are thrilled to have a sister!  We adopted Leila from Ethiopia in February.  She is 5 years old and has already filled our lives with SO much joy!  She is learning English as a rapid pace, and is very shy around strangers, but please be sure to say hello or give her a high 5 when passing by!

2018 BLYC Dues, Contributions & Donations
$____ - BLYC Member Dues ($30 / year)
$____ - BLYC Associate Member Dues ($10 / year)
$____ - Homeowners’ Assoc. ($10 / year)
$____ - Sailing Fees ($15 / year)
$____ - Building Improvement Fund
$____ - Fireworks Fund
$____ - Water Quality Program
$____ - Milfoil/Loosestrife Eradication
$____ - Safety Committee
$____ - Other non-party related expenses
$____ - BLYC Roof Fund
$____ - BLYC AED Fund
$____ - Misc.
Total contribution:
Include your name and address and checks payable to:
BLYC, c/o Deb Spratt at 18100 Farmington Hills Drive, South Bend, IN 46637

Birch Lake temperatures
Thanks to Steve Quinlan (west side) for providing the lake temps again this year!

Last Online Barker of the season!
This is the last Online Barker of the season ... starting the weekend of May 26 the Printed Birch Barker will be distributed. If you have news, events, pics or ads you want to share with your neighbors, send them to me by clicking this link ... Phil Vitale or put your items in my stone mailbox at 63174 Birch Rd. (east side).

High-speed Internet project
If you haven't already received one, watch for an email from Midwest Energy over the next week or so to confirm your order for the high-speed Internet service they've been installing around the county. Work should begin in July and they expect home installations to start sometime during the fourth quarter. Future updates will include more detail on the newest member of the 2018 project. For more info visit

Tentative 2018
Birch Lake Calendar

May 12 - BLYC Road Cleanup
May 19 - Spring Dinner
June 2 - Commodore/Vice Commodore Party @ BLYC
June 16 - Spaghetti dinner
June 30 - House Walk
July 7 - Boat Parade 2 pm
July 7 - Fireworks
July 8 - Pancake Breakfast, Camp T
July 20 - Ladies Golf
July 27 - Men’s Golf
August 4 - Corn & Sausage
Soup/Chili Challenge TBA
2018 BLYC Board Meetings
(all meetings start at 9 am)
May 12, June 9, July 14
August 11, Sept – TBA

Dates and times subject to change.
More info as available.
Watch for updates!

BLYC Classified Ads
For Sale: Two Birch Lake, South Side properties. Incredible Views. 14948 & 14991 Birch Lakeshore Dr. 14948 has 184 ft of Lake frontage, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, plus office. 14991 has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, plus a 1600 sq ft heated garage. Too many amenities to list. Contact Dick Bender for more info at 574-596-8724.

For Sale: Like-new glass top Hotpoint Electric Stove, built-in Whirlpool Dishawsher and GE Microwave. $300 for all three. Also padded, upholstered, swivel desk chair $20. Call 476-1680.

Shore Station 4000 lb Aluminum Boat lift, 24 foot Red Canopy top, Electric Motor can be run off of boat battery,  separate battery with solar charger available.  Set up for ski boat, but can be converted to pontoon. $4900. Delivery and set up $350. Can be seen at 63634 Birch Rd by the garage.
Contact Mike at 239-631-0074 or email to

I do sewing at reasonable prices; Zippers, hems, repairs on various
Items. Let me know what you need and I’ll let you know if I can do it
Katie Niezgodski 476-9317

Interested in a unique fun vacation? Check out renting the most inexpensive but cutest and best located rental in The Villages, Florida at

BLYC Contacts
2018 BLYC Officers

Karen Curtis Miller, Commodore (E)
Angela Bergan, Vice Commodore (E)
Deb Spratt, Treasurer (N)

Mike Sheffieck, Secretary (W)
Pat McGann, Fleet Captain (E)

18 BLYC Directors
Greg Bolin (W)
Ed Chester (E)
Harold Cranmer (W)
Terry Dugan (S)
Celia Fallon (E)
Chas Grundy (E)
Patty Luecht (E)
Sarah Petty (N)
Claudia Phipps (N)
Vickie Rogers (C)
Rick Russwurm (N)
Scott Troeger (E)
PJ Vandewalle (E)
Phil Vitale (E)
Sandy Vitale (E)
Bob Waddle (E)
Sue Williams (S)

non-director attendees
Jim Bolinger BLYC Homeowners’ Association Chairman (E) 476-9737(E)

Paul Fallon, BLYC Water Quality Committee
Chairman (E) 476-1467


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Barker Funnies

Sailing Stuff
The Volvo Ocean Race, a round-the-world saga, arrives Newport, R.I. in May.  No one knows when ... the yachts having raced across the equator from Itajai, Brazil.  After a week, crews prep for the next Atlantic leg.  An in-port scrum is Saturday 19th and ... restart for Europe the following day, May 20. Click here for a viedo

Fixing your older Sunfish?check out @SmallBoatDIY)

Star Search ...
[STAR] STUFF: celestial phenomena through 28 May: Eta Aquarid. The shower should peak on the night of May 6 and the morning of May 7 just before dawn. Enjoy!