Saturday, September 9 was a beautiful day at the ocean and the Santa Barbara Yacht Club (SBYC) Charity Regatta was a beacon for philanthropy and fun! For 19 years, this event has benefitted VNA Health, and this year an outstanding $198,000 was raised!
VNA Health Foundation provides charitable community programs and services, such as the Loan Closet, Music Services, Pet Therapy, and Bereavement Care, while also providing subsidized care at Serenity House, for Palliative Care, and for comprehensive in-home healthcare including skilled nursing, rehabilitative therapies, and hospice care. VNA Health Foundation is solely dependent on support from the community, and this support increases the ability for patients to maintain dignity, comfort, and quality of life, whether rehabilitating from a trauma or living their final days at home. For nearly two decades, SBYC has organized the Charity Regatta, and this partnership has successfully raised nearly $2.4 million to support VNA Health to ensure that its invaluable healthcare services for our community continues.
About 300 guests entered the club to the tropical tunes of steel drum musician, Ross Harper, who once again set the tone for a happy Regatta. Commodore David Sadecki opened the day with a short ceremony highlighted by the Pledge of Allegiance by Lt. Commander Roger Deck, U.S. Navy, and the National Anthem sung by David Gonzales. VNA Health President and CEO, Kieran Shah, thanked the Sponsors, and the Yacht Club, especially co-chairs Francie Lufkin and Nick Sebastian, for their continued commitment to the health and wellbeing of our Santa Barbara Community by supporting VNA Health. He also called special attention to the Celebrity Skippers, Palliative Care Professionals from our community; VNA Health, Sansum Clinic, Cottage Health, Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, and UCLA Health. VNA Health staff was also thanked for their tireless efforts to produce an entertaining day for the guests, and a productive fundraising day.
Emcee David Moorman then excused the guests to find the SBYC Women, who would guide them to their spectator Boats that were offered by SBYC members to view the race from the water. Those that preferred to stay ashore enjoyed beach activities, free entry to the Maritime Museum, and music on the sand.
The Lady J., owned by Jean Graham, was designated as the Memorial Boat to open the Regatta. The Memorial Boat Ceremony included Commodore Sadecki, Jo Sadecki, David Gonzales singing “What A Wonderful World,” and James Watson playing “Taps” on his trumpet. The participating Spectator Boats circled the Memorial Boat as the ceremony honored loved ones that have passed away, including those lost in the Maui Fires and the Marrakesh Earthquake, and as colorful flowers donated by Risdon 76 Service were scattered on the water. Race Director Brad Schaupeter, gave the signal and the Regatta commenced, with 24 boats racing in 3 classes, and 21 Spectator Boats carrying over 140 passengers.
The passengers returned with flushed faces and big smiles, and brought the positive energy of the race back to the club with them. The delicious dinner buffet by Chef Owen Hanavan was enjoyed by all to the great music of the Davitt Felder Band.
The Closing Ceremony revealed Ed and Tracy Schifferns as the Raffle winners of the two night stay and dinner at the luxurious Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo. The Silent Auction brought in nearly $11,600, one of the highest amounts raised in Regatta history. It was a flawless day made possible by the talents of SBYC General Manager Richard Nahas, SBYC Events Manager Kayla Householder, and the dedicated SBYC staff.
Race results were:
PHRF Overall– Mocos (Kent Pierce / Jon Bell)
PHRF A – Trifecta (Dr. Laura Schlessinger)
PHRF B – Mocos (Kent Pierce / Jon Bell)
PHRF C – CatNip (Lander Nicolait)
CHRF – Blue Tango (Peter Candy)
J/70 – Namaste (Thomas Tunberg)
With tremendous gratitude to all, especially the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and staff – SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!