Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise birthday party for Scott Fairty

Scott, surfing a wave at the Geneva Kayak Center's Yorkville site.
All good conspiracies are grounded in a solid motivation. Last night's conspiracy to host a 50th birthday party for Scott Fairty was no exception. When Scott was hired as Geneva Kayak Center's general manager a few years back, Chicago paddling instructors knew our students wouldn't be the only beneficiaries. We, too, had a new mentor--one who soon also became a paddling partner and friend.

Part one of the conspiracy was the party, attended by various local paddlers as well as Scott's three kids and his father, Jack.

Caitlin, Gordon and Tara Fairty.
Jack Fairty, who drove in for the occasion.
Part two was the gift: Dozens of instructors, students and friends pitched in to buy Scott a new whitewater boat: A Pyranha Varun. (A huge thanks to Kelly Blades and Pyranha for facilitating the purchase.)

Scott begins to realize something is up when the card contains about 40 names....
...then finds, inside a small box, a model of the boat that will arrive in a week or so.
No 50th birthday party would be complete without a little ribbing from the kids about Scott's age. "Over the hill!" the cake declared. "Happy birthday, you old fart."

Caitlin serves Scott a choice slice of cake.
There may be nothing magical about celebrating the actual day on which a person was born, but it's a great opportunity to celebrate the person. Scott has brought a lot to the Chicago-area paddling community. We're looking forward to many more years on the water with him.

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