It’s that time of year again when the Santa Barbara Yacht Club invites the community to sail for an important cause. This year marks the ninth annual Santa Barbara Yacht Club “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 7, benefiting Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care’s Serenity House.

Since its inception, this event has raised more than $730,000 so that Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley and Lompoc families have access to compassionate, quality hospice care from Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

For the second year in a row, Tom Parker, a member of the SBYC Board of Directors and president of the Hutton Parker Foundation, is the chairman of the event. He along with a dedicated committee of SBYC members and VNHC staff are planning a thrilling day of racing, entertainment and goodwill.

The event 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.

Again this year, the Regatta will celebrate our local heroes, including local safety personnel and first responders, who will serve as “Celebrity Skippers” onboard the boats. A number of representatives from the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office will wear a captain’s hat on the racing boats, all gunning for the “Yachts of Love” trophy.

Before the first gun goes off to start the race, the Harbor Patrol boats will do a ceremonial “Fire Dance,” complete with fire hoses, to send the racers on their way. Once the race begins, there will be nearly 100 boats on the water of all shapes and sizes — from spectator boats to some of Santa Barbara’s finest racing boats.

Throughout the day, guests can bid on exclusive silent auction items, including fire station dinners, a two-night stay at Hotel Indigo, a Price Waterhouse Cooper painting, brunch for four at the Biltmore, and a VIP Elephant Encounter at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Guests will also have the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for $10 each or five tickets for $40, and to be entered to win any of the 40-plus raffle items that have been generously donated by local businesses.

After the race, guests will return to the Yacht Club for a barbecue dinner, drinks, live music and to celebrate the racers. While the Regatta race winner will get the trophy, the real winner of the day is the boat that brings in the most donations in relation to the size of the boat. Last year’s winner was committee member Mary Lee Hopkins and her boat, 28-foot Allegro non Troppo, and together with her crew, she raised $2,000 for VNHC.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at $15,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 levels. Sponsorship includes admission to the Regatta, barbecue and recognition opportunities. Current top sponsors include Impulse Advance Communications, The Bank of Santa Barbara and the Hutton Parker Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club is proud to support VNHC, and the “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta is one way the Yacht Club members give back to the Santa Barbara community.

The “Yachts of Love” Charity Regatta on Sept. 7 is open to the public. 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 in 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 805.690.6261 or click here. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Elizabeth Adams at 805.690.6261 or

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is the leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive in-home health care. Its mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive home health, hospice and related services necessary to promote the health and well-being of all community residents, including those unable to pay. It serves the greater Santa Barbara area, and Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys. Established in 1908, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is one of Santa Barbara’s oldest nonprofit organizations.

For more information on Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, click here or call 805.965.5555.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.