Who: Ninth Annual Yachts of Love by Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care
What: A benefit to support Serenity House
When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
Where: Santa Barbara Yacht Club, 130 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara
The ninth annual “Yachts of Love” charity regatta held at the Santa Barbra Yacht Club and benefiting Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care’s Serenity House was greeted with clearing blue skies just in time for boat races, a barbecue and fun for a cause that is close to many hearts within the community.
“It’s carried on year after year and has gotten bigger and better and raised even more money,” said Francie Lufkin, SBYC commodore. “And I think the reason why it’s been so successful is Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care has personally touched so many of our members.”
Founded in 1872, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club opened its scenic clubhouse to friends, family members and fellow Santa Barbarians who gathered shortly after noon to the lively sounds of live music as guests mingled on the outdoor balcony overlooking the harbor, Stearns Wharf and the Pacific Ocean.
“This is really a perfect union of two organizations that are probably the oldest in Santa Barbara,” said Tom Parker, SBYC regatta chair. “The Yacht Club has been here for over 150 years, and Hospice which has been here for well over 100 years.
“And, we at the Yacht Club wanted the community involved with us and the ocean because we all have such a love for the ocean and the Hospice union came up about nine years ago and the response and support from the community has been wonderful.”
Dressed in casual and comfortable gear for sailing guests in baseball caps, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers were eager to test out their sea legs on a breezy and choppy day. Volunteers from the Youth Sailing Foundation handed out programs and assigned guests to join spectator boats hosted by Yacht Club members.
Forty boats competed in the highly charged and competitive charity regatta. First-place winners included skipper Bill Guilfoyle on Prevail, who won the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Race, and skipper Thomas Tunberg won the B Fleet on Bull. Skipper Judith Miller on Sea Note won the Club Handicap Racing Fleet Race, and the Harbor 20s opted out this year due to the conditions.
“This is a race today and we are sailors so we help, but once we get out there we get competitive but the real reason for this is obviously to raise money,” Parker said. “So what we are trying to do today is take as many people out on our boats as we can. I know on Taxi Dancer, my boat, I think we will have up to 45 people helping me to race around this course — and it will be a lot of the first responders, fire chief, the sheriff — and we are going to have a great time and raise money for a great cause.”
After the races, passengers returned to the clubhouse for a traditional barbecue where guests lined up along large barbecue pits to take turns charbroiling chicken, salmon and hamburgers while reminiscing about the boating and appreciating the goal of this special day.
“Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care has a full continuum of home care services that we provide to the community,” said Lynda Tanner, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care president and CEO. “We have home health, hospice and the beautiful 18-bed Serenity House inpatient hospice facility and our private duty services.”
The 27,300-square-foot Serenity House delivers critical additional hospice care in the Santa Barbara region, with the mission that nobody dies alone and there’s somewhere to go even if someone doesn’t have family in town or nobody to care for you.
Vice Commodore Larry Leveille announced the Traditional Trophy Presentation Award Ceremony as the Yachts of Love Perpetual Trophy was won by Mary Lee Hopkins on Allegro Non Tropo — making it the third year in a row. And this year there was not a Predicted Log Trophy for the power boat race.
The mission of VNHC is to provide high-quality, comprehensive home health, hospice and related services necessary to promote the well-being of all community residents, including those unable to pay.
The Yacht Club was honored to open its doors and boats to the community for a great cause and a special day and this year was another success, setting a new fundraising mark with proceeds towards Serenity House.
“We ended up raising over $160,000 which is a record breaking year for the event,” Robyn Parker said. “And yes, I will have big shoes to fill next year as the incoming chair, but hopefully Tom and I will be doing it again together as we did this year! It was incredible to see all the support for VNHC — they truly are an organization that many hold dear to their heart.”
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care and the Santa Barbara Yacht Club graciously thanks the ninth annual charity regatta sponsors:
» Vice Commodore Level: Hutton Parker Foundation
» Staff Commodore Level: Susan and Riley Bechtel, Jeffrey Berkus Architects, Marlys and Ron Boehm, Brown & Brown Insurance, Sheila and Thomas Cullen, the Dreier Family Foundation, Leonard Himelsein, Seacoast Yachts, Seed Mackall LLP, Schipper Construction, Venoco Inc. and Wells Fargo Wealth Management
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.