As the 16 boats neared the finish line of the Fifth Annual Jennifer Diamond Celebrity Regatta held Saturday, August 25th, the competing crews’ hunger for winning was put aside for a day and replaced with the satisfaction of participating in a benevolent and community-oriented cause.
In a sport that at times emulates a game of “chicken,” where a steady hand and fearless intimidating confidence reign supreme, this day would be peaceful on the course. No protests, no screaming madmen approaching a mark demanding their given rights and no post-race grumblings. In this race the true winning would be the $10,000 in cash they all raised for the Jennifer Diamond Foundation, an organization devoted to fighting cancer through the power of education.
“Most importantly and the key to this whole thing,” said foundation co-founder Harvey Diamond, who lost his daughter Jennifer to a rare form of cancer over five years ago, “is to bring and raise awareness to the community of what the foundation is doing.”
In 2002, Jennifer Diamond, a 30-year-old artist, co-founded the foundation with her parents as she lay dying of an incurable form of cancer.
The foundation’s purpose would be to provide information and educational tools about cancer-related issues that would be accessible to the public. Today it also provides counseling services for cancer patients and their families and art therapy for children and adults.
Since then, Jennifer’s parents, Harvey and Alice, have constructed four libraries and are looking to build a fifth, hopefully in the West L.A. area.
“It’s about making these facilities available to the public. They’re all free of charge,” said Harvey Diamond. “We want to take the money that we raise and give it back to the community in this format.”
As longtime members of the Del Rey Yacht Club, the Diamonds decided that a regatta was an appropriate and unique way to raise funds for the foundation — a fun sailboat race combined with some celebrity star power, which this year consisted of television and movie actor David Moscow and the producers for an upcoming film called Eye of the Dolphin.
The Diamonds were pleased, having raised about half of what they need to build a library with the funds generated from the regatta, but they are looking forward to next year with the goal of raising enough money to build a library with the proceeds of a successful race.
Diamond is confident that, as more people find out about the effectiveness of these libraries that are stacked with relevant up-to-date books, video/audio equipment, printers, etc., combined with how enjoyable the regatta is, contributions and participation will follow.
The next event the foundation will present will be on November 3rd, when they will be hosting the Fifth Annual Black Tie Gala Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. There will be name entertainment and a number of celebrity guests in attendance. Information, www.jenniferdiamondfoundation .org/.