Yacht Club Charity Gala

By Tim Buckley   |   September 20, 2018
Some of the teachers (from Montecito schools) honored at the SBYC Regatta: Jacki Hammer, Vicky Harbison, and Jocelyn Tipple

The Santa Barbara Yacht Club (SBYC) got underway with their 14th Annual Charity Regatta benefiting Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care (VNHC) and celebrating our dedicated teachers. They were recognized for going 110 percent above and beyond the call of duty during the Thomas Fire and mudslides to continue their student’s education. They arranged alternate classroom sites, revised lesson plans, and supported children mentally and emotionally during this traumatic time for all of us.

These teachers include Christine Gilbert, Nichole Hughes, Krista Munizich, Gretchen Tofflemire, Debra Tursick, Omar Espinoza, Patrice Warwick, Amy Campbell, Johanna Thorpe, Jacki Hammer, Vicky Harbison, Valerie Yoshimura, Mary Beth Lee, and Jocelyn Tipple. Way to go!

The SBYC was founded in 1872 and is the second oldest yacht Club on the West Coast of North America. I asked SBYC Staff commodore Francie Lufkin if she had ordered up the cruise ship that was anchored just off shore to add more atmosphere to the celebration. Of course, she replied, “Yes. No problem.”

The Club was festive with steel drum music playing while guests drank sparkling wine and mimosas to go along with the brunch buffet. There were piles of savory and sweet pastries, gourmet deviled eggs, and several kinds of miniature quiche. Yum! The tables were centered with small black boards and an honored teacher’s name chalked on. They didn’t forget an apple for the teacher as well.

Louise and Tim Casey aboard their boat, the Sonador, at the SBYC Regatta
VNHC executive director Rick Keith with president/CEO Lynda Tanner and Regatta chair Francie Lufkin and commodore John Koontz

Commodore John Koontz reminded the group, “VNHC also went 110 percent above their duty and continued its compassionate and trusted care for the community.” VNHC president/CEO is Lynda Tanner with Rick Keith as executive director. The Yacht Club has raised $1.3 million for VNHC in the 14 years of the Regatta. These contributions help take care of 12,000 patients and families each year.

After the opening ceremonies participants headed out to their respective spectator boats, which headed out to sea so they could watch the races. I went aboard the Sonador thanks to owners Tim and Louise Casey and took pictures. But not being a good sailor, I confess, I got off. There was still the Beer Garden or volleyball games to play. You could also visit the Maritime Museum next door. Upon returning from the race, there were regatta awards, raffle winners, and the day ended with a barbecue. Almost 400 hundred folks enjoyed the fun in the sun.

Besides Francie and John, to be thanked is their committee: Marilyn Goodfield, Shari Guilfoyle, Teresa Koontz, Lailan McGrath, Easter Moorman, Suesan Pawlitski, Judy Rawles, Jenny Roberts, Nick Sebastian, Beverly Toole, Brittany Avila Wazny, and Gail Young. There were also dozens of sponsors to be thanked. 

To learn about all the programs and help related to VNHC, call (805) 965-5555. Ahoy to the Yacht Club until next year’s Regatta.


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