The 10th annual “Yachts of Love” charity regatta benefiting Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care featured a day of fun-filled festivities, tasty barbecue and competitive boat racing at the scenic and historic Santa Barbara Yacht Club.
Over the last decade, the regatta has raised more than $1 million. This year, the event brought together more than 350 people with more than $170,000 raised at the fundraiser, which was open to the public.
“We are so grateful to the yacht club for choosing to benefit VNHC these past 10 years,” said Lynda Tanner, VNHC president and CEO. “It has been a successful partnership that has not only collectively raised over $1 million, but has also enabled VNHC to bring renewed health and comfort to thousands of people in Santa Barbara.”
The VNHC mission 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.
For 106 years, the nonprofit organization has served Santa Barbara residents in need of care who are facing the last stages of life.
In 2013, VNHC cared for 145 terminally ill people each day and provided bereavement support to 2,690 community members. The organization provided 382 hours of personal care services each day to help older adults live independently, made daily visits to 103 people in their homes, and supplied 3,342 people with medical equipment to aid in comfort and recovery.
Founded in 1872, the Santa Barbara Yacht Club opened its scenic clubhouse to friends, family members and fellow Santa Barbarans 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.
Excited visitors boarded spectator boats provided courtesy of yacht club members, who were themselves represented in the regatta with more than 20 club boats participating. Guests on the vessels were treated to wine and cheese and with explanations from the skippers on safety rules and features on-board.
On the water, spectators snapped photos of passing boats and shouted words of encouragement as the sailboats playfully swirled around one another and water splashed over decks.
Attendees found their sea legs again after the race and headed back to the clubhouse for a barbecue with all the fixings prepared by SBYC’s talented culinary team. The awards ceremony included Mary Lee Hopkins’ boat, Allegro non Troppo, for the boat that raised the most money for VNHC — per foot.
Regatta chairwoman Robyn Parker thanked the generous supporters, sponsors and donors of the special 10th anniversary event, and she captured the spirit of a day spent in the waters for a good cause.
“I’m thrilled to share that we raised more this year than in any previous year!” she said. “Also, we hit an incredible record this year — we passed the $1 million mark for funds raised for Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care since this event started in 2005. Thank you to all of you — and the incredible committee who made this happen.”