We all have a special place in our lives. For some it is our home, that safe harbor where we are protected from the outside world, and where we find security in familiar surroundings. For others it may be a beautiful garden full of texture and color, or the waterfront at sunset. Some of our special places may not be a location at all, but a wonderful memory or a dream we keep in a secret corner of our mind. For sick children and their families on Long Island, there is a "house that love built," known as the Ronald McDonald House, located at Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is a "home away from home" providing comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in an area hospital. The goal at Ronald McDonald house is to offer comfort to families, both physical and emotional as they cope with a seriously ill child. Instead of spending nights in hospital waiting rooms or costly hotels, families who seek excellent care that is far from home, can stay in the warm and caring environment at Ronald McDonald House.
Sailors are a caring group. They understand how important it is to support their fellow boaters who may at times need assistance out on the water when severe weather puts a boat in danger, or gear failure necessitates a helping hand from a passing vessel. So it should come as no surprise that the Port Washington YC chose the Ronald McDonald House for their Charity Regatta this year again. The event was held on Saturday, Oct. 7 and what a day it was raising $73,000! Though the early morning rain was not encouraging, the inclement weather cleared, and the day turned out to be great for racing. Twenty-six boats competed in four divisions plus the one-design boats (Sonar, Knickerbocker One Design, and Ideal 18). Peter Christie, race committee chair, said, "We had a wonderful day with lots of wind out of the NE at 20-30 knots. The course set for the PERF boats was about 18 miles long, and all boats finished under three hours so they were really moving." Good winds and excellent food kept the racers happy as teams exchanged stories of their triumphs or travails out on Long Island Sound. By the time of the awards ceremony, hosted by Dan Hanley, event chair, the sailors had put in a full and fun day. According to Hanley, "This event is a thrill for me - always heartwarming. Everyone did a great job. And a special thanks go to all the merchants in this town."
The day was not just for sailing. This event was a full court press for family fun throughout the day. The captain's meeting started the day, followed by tennis events, musical entertainment which lasted all day, the heated pool that was open but few took advantage because of the weather, an all-day barbecue, a magician, and the arrival of Ronald McDonald, in person. Once the sailors came ashore, there were cocktails and a buffet dinner, followed by awards and the live auction, lead by expert local emcee, Barbara Romano.
At the end of an activity-packed day, Commodore Michael Fried said, "This is the second year we have supported the Ronald McDonald House and we are very proud to be associated with a local charity. This is one of the nice things I can do as commodore of PWYC. Thanks to all the members of the club for their generosity. And to all the yacht clubs and individuals who give quietly." Although the final amount raised has not been totaled, the club expects to raise more than the $28,000 they raised last year for the Ronald McDonald House. The amount raised this year at Port Washington YC will help the staff and volunteers continue doing what they do best - giving comfort and shelter to families struggling to care for a severely ill child.
Results of the regatta: Division 1: 1. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, PWYC, 2. Freedom, Mario Fichera, PWYC, and 3. Georgetown, George Marks, NSYC. Division 2: 1. Free Fall, Bill McFaul, PWYC, 2. Chieftan, Bob Chuda, NYACYC, and 3. Starship Enterprise, Ed Schillay, City Island YC. Division 3: 1. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, NSYC, 2. Out of Reach, Louis Nees, PWYC, and 3. Shooting Star, Cain (first name unavailable), Glen Island YC. Division 4: Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, PWYC, 2. Escape, Chuck McCarthy, PWYC, and 3. Second Wind, Anthony Viola, MBYC. Top boats in the One -Design division: Sonars: 1. #573, Selhun, Bahar Gidwani, MB Shipyard, and 2. #442, Dreadlox, Neil Bercow, YRA-LIS. Ideal 18s: 1. #171, Stephanie Baas/Lois Scaglione, 2. #176, Cindy Jordan/Jamie Gross, and 3. #174, Florence Paterno/Paula Davis. All these ladies represented the Women's Racing Clinic (WRC). There were two KODs out, but one had an "equipment malfunction," so only one KOD sailed. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, NSYC, was determined to race, so the RC started him with the Sonar fleet. Congrats to Roy, and to all the skippers and crew for supporting this regatta.
Special thanks to those who worked so hard to make this regatta successful: Dan Hanley, Charity Cup Regatta chairman; Mr. Peter Christie, race committee director;
Trisha Hodson, women's race committee director; Patricia Fried, prize and raffle co-director; Vicki Cronacher, prize and raffle co-director; Sharon Abruzzo, Pat Cantelmi, Kathy Christie, Nancy Downey, Jodi Eglinton, Marion Endrizzi, Michelle Fichera, Monica Jawski, Theresa Nees, and Marian Mulderrig, printing.