Everyone is a winner at the 12th Annual Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta

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Life has a way of dealing out tacks and turns that make it unpredictable. Sometimes it can feel like a race or contest to the finish line. In a way, the Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta is a lot like life, but every participant is a winner.

The 12th Annual Benefit started out Aug. 28 with a sell-out crowd of 540 attendees at the Hotel Del Coronado, featuring Channel 8 News Reporter Alicia Summers as guest emcee. There was a live and silent auction and dinner and dancing.

Life has a way of dealing out tacks and turns that make it unpredictable. Sometimes it can feel like a race or contest to the finish line. In a way, the Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta is a lot like life, but every participant is a winner.

The 12th Annual Benefit started out Aug. 28 with a sell-out crowd of 540 attendees at the Hotel Del Coronado, featuring Channel 8 News Reporter Alicia Summers as guest emcee. There was a live and silent auction and dinner and dancing.

The next afternoon was the much-anticipated Regatta where 38 sailboats competed as 625 attendees watched the race from aboard 39 private yachts. The day was a beauty, the water sparkling, the sky clear and people waving to each other out on the bay, waiting for the starting shot to begin the race.

Rob and Ruth Gilliland went out on their Red White and Blue. Gilliland participated in the race for five years, at first on sailboat, and then as a spectator.

He explained that the slowest boats started first, with the fastest ones starting later. The Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet is the organizing body that determines the handicap of each boat according to its weight and class.

“Of course, it doesn’t always work to the boaters’ advantage. Sometimes the fastest boats will still win, with the slowest ones coming in last,” he said.

The Hahli was the first boat out. Gilliland got up close to the boat, watching the crew rig up their sails. 

“I love being out here, watching the race. It’s for a good cause. Sharp Hospital saved my wife’s life twice. The hospital has been good to us, and I want to give something back,” he said.

Gilliland stayed close to the course of the race, watching the sailboat Justice, skippered by John Harrop, be the first one to move past the race marker. The Luxury followed close behind for second place. Poco Loco and Brigadoon were neck-and-neck, with the Brigadoon pushing through to 3rd place. 

 The 2014 Benefit Regatta netted more than $350,000, exceeding last year’s fundraising amount of $263,000.

“It exceeded everyone’s expectations by a long shot,” said Bruce Hartman, Director of Sharp Grossmont Hospital Marketing and Communications.

 “I am very grateful to all the partners, sponsors, volunteers and community members who give generously to the Regatta in support of Sharp HospiceCare programs and services,” said Suzi K. Johnson, Vice President, Sharp HospiceCare. 

The event was hosted in partnership with Coronado Yacht Club and Cortez Racing Association. Community volunteers Jill Gunn Berman, and Marita Malskis-Bodkin, served as the 2014 Regatta Event co-chairs. Event sponsors included Title Sponsor Shea Family and Honorary Commodore Sponsors; Elmcroft Senior Living, Virginia Napierskie, and Sodexo Health Care Services.

Sharp HospiceCare is an organization that provides comprehensive care and compassionate support to patients and their families struggling with a life-limiting illness. Sharp’s hospice homes are unique living environments – custom-designed and built in established, residential neighborhoods. They are the only places of their kind in San Diego County that combine around-the-clock hospice care with an intimate, comfortable, home-like setting. 

Sharp’s Homes for Hospice, including LakeView Home in La Mesa and ParkView Home in Del Cerro, are the only places of their kind in San Diego. They operate solely to provide care and compassionate support to patients, families and friends dealing with terminal illnesses.

“As we prepare to open our third hospice home in San Diego’s South Bay, Sharp HospiceCare continues to focus on its mission to deliver compassionate and comprehensive end-of-life care for those in our community who need it,” Johnson said.

For more information about Sharp Hospice Home Care, go to www.sharp.com/hospice/homes-for-hospice.cfm.

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