It’s August, when the Marina del Rey boating activity hits its full stride. The impending end of summer seeps into the collective consciousness as kids start re-supplying for the school year and boaters begin to realize they haven’t taken the boat out very much at all.
Harbor cruises, fishing excursions and day sails are happening every day, filling the channel on the weekend leading up to Labor Day.
And while it may seem (and may be) that all this activity is mostly hedonistic in nature, there are some events going on that bridge the gap between fun and philanthropy.
This past week, two separate yacht clubs rallied behind two separate organizations in the fight against cancer. On August 22nd the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club (SMWYC) once again presented the City of Hope Cancer Institute with a donation generated from its regatta and auction, held earlier in the year.
This year the club raised over $26,000, up again from the previous year and once again set a record for funds collected.
The regatta included a substantially greater number of boats than last year with the addition of the Catalina 42 class, and that helped raise the final tally.
The Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club has been behind the City of Hope’s cause for the past eight years and it is proud of the progression and success of the event.
“I think we started out in year one making about $4,000,” said event chair Mary Anne Mendel. “And this year we reached $26,025.”
Mendel credits the City of Hope Marina del Rey Chapter and the year-round hard work of the women of SMWYC for the ongoing success of the event.
This year, she also pointed towards Norm Perron, who kick-started the regatta portion, bringing in an additional $9,000 on top of what the auction produced.
As a rule, local regattas aren’t regarded as the most effective fund-raisers, but SMWYC’s City of Hope Regatta and the recently held Jennifer Diamond Celebrity Regatta, hosted by the Del Rey Yacht Club, are proving the skeptics wrong.
On August 23rd, 12 boats, some carrying film and TV stars, raced a random leg course to the Santa Monica Bell Buoy and back to benefit the Jennifer Diamond Foundation, which is dedicated to building special libraries in hospitals that better inform people who need specific information about rare forms of cancer.
One of Diamond’s last wishes to her parents Harvey and Alice, before dying of an incurable form of cancer, was that they provide others with the ability to have all the knowledge possible to facilitate recovery. Since her passing, the Diamonds have built six libraries in her name.
“Our libraries are running about $40,000-plus, but this is a significant amount of fundraising towards that,” said Harvey Diamond. “We keep on plugging away. We’re told that over 30,000 people will see and visit the libraries this year.”
The Diamonds were pleased that they, like the aforementioned charity, broke fundraising records for the event. The race collected $12,500, more than any other regatta, since they began in 2003.
“It was fabulous out there,” Diamond said smiling. “The weather was great, the wind was wonderful and nearly everyone won an award.”
For more information on these two organizations or to make donations, www.cityofhope.org/ and www.jenniferdiamondfoundation .org/.