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Santa Barbara Yacht Club Names Co-Chairs of ‘Yachts of Love’ Charity Regatta

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club is pleased to announce that Robyn Parker and Sarah Berkus Gower are co-chairing the club’s 11th annual Charity Regatta to benefit Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

Robyn Parker

Sarah Berkus Gower

Parker and Berkus Gower, along with a dedicated committee of Santa Barbara Yacht Club members and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care staff, are planning a thrilling day of racing, entertainment and goodwill. The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 and will begin at noon at the Yacht Club, where guests will gather for a special champagne toast and a water canon salute before the race begins.

Parker, a member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and program officer at the Hutton Parker Foundation, is proud to be a fifth generation from Santa Barbara. Along with her work at the foundation, Parker enjoys volunteering her time to support many local nonprofits. Most recently, Parker was co-chair of Court Appointed Special Advocate’s "CASA by the SEA” event. Parker also serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Zoo, as well as a committee member for the organization’s Zoofari Ball fundraiser.

Parker is also president of the Santa Barbara City College Alumni Association and a member of the Santa Barbara Bowl’s Education Outreach Committee. She has also served on committees for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Parker joined the Charity Regatta planning committee in 2011 after her grandfather, RP Richards, used the loving care of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care in his final days.

Berkus Gower, an attorney with local law firm Hollister & Brace, is a third-generation Santa Barbara native living on the lower Mesa with her husband and two dogs. Along with her work as an attorney representing high-net-worth clients in complex family law matters, she volunteers her time supporting local nonprofits in the Santa Barbara community.

Berkus Gower has spent many days at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, with her grandfather and father being longtime members, sailors and owners of J-24 racing boats. She initially became involved with the Charity Regatta when her grandfather, local architect Barry Berkus, passed away in 2012 at Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care’s Serenity House, after also having been assisted by the care and services of VNHC’s visiting nurses at his home.

Having had lifelong connections to the Yacht Club and first-hand experience with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Berkus Gower is passionate about this event and cause, and excited to co-chair this year's Yachts of Love Charity Regatta benefiting Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

As co-chairs of the committee, Parker and Berkus Gower have assembled a remarkable team to help plan this year’s event. Committee members include Brittany Avila, Elizabeth Adams, Kaleen Baker, Rebecca Benard, Ed Brady, Erika Buse, Jack Byers, Roger Chrisman, Sarah Chrisman, Trish Davis, Marisa Demourkas, Joanne Gordon, Shari Guilfoyle, Daniel Herrera, Mary Lee Hopkins, Larry Leveille, Francie Lufkin, Easter Moorman, Sabrina Papa, Tony Papa, Tom Parker, Judy Rawles, David Sadecki, Jo Sadecki, Jen Smithwick, Sigrid Toye, Shannon Vernon, Craig Wilberg and Kathleen Yabsley.

The Charity Regatta is part of a national movement and has become a signature event in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Yacht Club is proud to support Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, and the “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta is one way the Yacht Club members give back to the Santa Barbara community. Since its inception in 2005, the Charity Regatta has raised more than $1 million so that Santa Barbara County families have access to compassionate, quality health care from Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

Sponsorship opportunities for this year’s event are available at $15,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 levels. Sponsorship includes admission to the Regatta, Cocktail Party, barbecue, and recognition opportunities. Current top sponsors include Impulse Advanced Communications and Hutton Parker Foundation. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please click here, or contact Daniel Herrera at 805.690.6260 or [email protected].

The “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta is open to the public. Beginning Aug. 1, tickets can be purchased by clicking here. Tickets are $100 per person and $30 per child under 12 years of age. Guests are invited to check in at noon and sign up to ride on one of the spectator boats. Space on the spectator boats is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. For tickets and event information, call 805.690.6290 or click here.

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

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