May 17, 2020
This is a challenging time for all of us. I sincerely hope you and your family are staying well. One of the challenges the Y-noT Project faces right now is whether to hold our annual Wiffle Ball Tournament this August. While we would love to be able get together with all of you again this year, the format of a very large gathering (over 500 people) is just not smart while this virus is still threatening our community. So we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Tournament, and focus on bringing you an even better event next year.
As many of you already know, I founded the Y-noT Project after my precious 10 year old boy Tony Borcia was killed on July 28, 2012, while tubing on the Chain O’Lakes. He fell off the tube and then was hit by a man who pled guilty to operating a boat under the combined influence of alcohol and cocaine. That boater was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June, 2013.
We need to change the culture that accepts and even encourages a driver of a boat to drink while driving. Although we understand that boating is a recreational activity, and we accept that people enjoying that activity will also most often be drinking, we also strongly advocate that the boat driver commits to staying sober. Sober boat operation is just as imperative for safety as is the sober operation of a car. Because we are promoting safe and responsible boating rather than abstinence from all drinking on boats, the Y-noT Project hopes that the people living on and around the Fox River and the Chain O’Lakes will join us in our mission. It is time to take back our lakes and rivers.
At the time of Tony’s death, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) patrolled the entire Chain O’Lakes with 2 patrol boats. Because this is the busiest inland waterway in the country, and because this is where Tony senselessly lost his life, the Y-noT Project has focused its current efforts to improve boating law enforcement here. To that end, we have used the proceeds of our Annual Wiffle Ball Tournaments to purchase a new patrol boat for DNR to use to increase summer weekend patrols on the Chain, as well as providing DNR and the Lake County and McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Marine Units with patrol boat engines, state-of-the-art breathalyzers, video cameras, powerful flashlights, life jackets, and other equipment needed to more efficiently patrol the Chain. We also provided an intensive, 56-hour Coast Guard training course for DNR and Lake County Sheriff’s officers to increase the safety and effectiveness of their enforcement efforts on the water. As a result, local law enforcement has increased its presence on the Chain and we believe we are beginning to see a shift to safer boating behavior.
As always, no money raised by the Y-noT Project has been given to my family for any reason, including medical or legal bills. In addition, the Y-noT Project has not spent any money on lobbyists, nor has it given any money to politicians or political causes. The only legislation the Y-noT Project has supported has been bi-partisan bills to make boating safer, and our advocacy consisted of me speaking to committee and town hall meetings. The Y-noT Project has no affiliation with and has never supported any past or present Governor of Illinois.
The Y-noT Project hopes to see you in August 2021 for our next Wiffle Ball Tournament. It is a great event with hundreds of players of all ages, spectators sharing the fun, live music, excellent food, and a large raffle and silent auction. Please consider supporting safer boating by becoming a sponsor, starting a team, donating items for the raffle/auction or cash to support your favorite team, or just coming out to enjoy a day filled with fun, laughter and love. And in the meantime, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Y-noT Project to help us realize our vision.