The Glen Lake Association is grateful and humbled by a recent donation by the Besio Family Foundation – one of the most significant donations to date given to the award-winning lake association.

The Besio family’s gift will underwrite the popular Discovery Boat program, a vital tool and key component in educating the community about protection and preservation of the Glen Lake/ Crystal River Watershed.

Rob Karner, GLA’s respected watershed biologist and founder of the Discovery Boat, makes the two-hour cruises fun and interesting, with each pontoon ride tailored to the participants’ interests. Topics range from discovering how the glaciers formed the lake, river and surrounding hillsides, wetlands, and streams – to the chemistry of the water and biology of plants and animals.

“GLA has done so much to protect and enhance Glen Lake with its various programs,” explain Sue and Greg Besio on their reason for investing in the program. “The Discovery Boat helps everyone learn more about our beautiful lake and how we can all contribute to preserving its unique ecosystem and watershed.  Each person who takes the Discovery Boat tour, and learns how special Glen Lake is, becomes another advocate.”

Karner says their backing makes a strong statement and ensures the program’s continuation.

“When I first heard about the Besio family gift to help underwrite the cost of the Discovery Boat program, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I felt like the program has been validated and will have a bright future.”

Sue and Greg Besio and their two sons have been coming to Glen Lake for over 25 years from the Chicago area. Now they welcome the third generation to their favorite spot. Calling her clan “a big sailing family,” Sue served as the Glen Lake Yacht Club Commodore and was on the board for 10 years. You can see them enjoying the water on their 19-foot cat boat with its distinctive mainsail.

“GLA’s educational programs help create a multi-generational advocacy dedicated to preserving the special character of Glen Lake and we are proud to support these efforts,” observe the Besios.


Discovery Boat cruises are held twice daily on designated Fridays in July and August and are incredibly popular with spots filling quickly. Reservations can be made through the GLA website, with signups for summer 2020 beginning in April.


For information on other underwriting opportunities to continue the important work of the GLA, contact development chair, Lori Lyman, at 231-334-7645 or