About Us

The Cardboard Cup Regatta originated in the summer of 1985 as a special event to help raise awareness for a small local sailing club – The Crystal Lake Yacht Club. There were three members who were instrumental in the creation of this now annual event: Jim Hooker, Chuck Ellison, and Frank Ward. The first Cardboard Cup Regatta drew a crowd of 2,000 spectators. Enough funds were raised to host the event and to give back to the community. Now celebrating its 33rd year, this annual fun, family event provides annual grants to support local charities, including:
2014 Thrift Shop Entry

  • Alex Leigh Center Autism
  • Andy’s Chapter of Hope
  • Adult/Child Rehab Center
  • Bear Necessities
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Family Alliance
  • Family Health Partnership
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Home of the Sparrow
  • Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Journey Care
  • McHenry County Coop Dental Clinic
  • Options & Advocacy McHenry County
  • PADS
  • P.E.A.C.E. for All
  • Pioneer Center
  • Sage YMCA
  • Salvation Army
  • Senior Care
  • Senior Services Association
  • Turning Point
The America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which organizes an annual charity race on the 3rd Saturday in June. Individuals and businesses build life-sized boats of cardboard and race them along a 200 yard course at the Crystal Lake Park District’s Main Beach. There are various awards categories from fastest time to themed awards such as most creative, stars and stripes and the famous most spectacular sinking.

This year we hope to continue the tradition and bring in more money than ever before to support local charitable organizations. CLICK HERE for information on how to sponsor the event. If you would like your organization considered to receive Grant funding from the Regatta, please complete, print, and mail in an Application for Funding, a copy of your 501(c)(3) certificate, last year’s income statement, and the current year’s budget.

In addition to donating money to local causes, the event fosters teambuilding and camaraderie! Individual, families, friends and companies all get together to celebrate summer, enjoy the Crystal Lake Park District’s beach and … of course … for a little friendly competition.

Trophies
2014 Race Day Volunteers