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Reaching Out

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Reaching Out

Our friends at Challenged America have some great news for them and we’re glad to see someone doing some good for a very important segment of our community. Here’s their release:

Paul Cayard has joined West Marine and
Cortez Racing Association for a benefit to support Challenged America
sailors with disabilities in the first West Marine/Challenged America
Regatta, June 12 & 13, 2009, in San Diego."From being a seven-time World Champion and two-time Olympian, and
five-time America’s Cup veteran, to be the first American to win the
Whitbread Around The World Race, Paul Cayard’s name and presence is
quickly identified and talked about in virtually every yacht club and
sailing venue in the world," said Urban Miyares, blinded Vietnam veteran,
sailor, and Challenged America co-founder. 

"Having Paul take time out of
his busy schedule to come to San Diego to help us and do the keynote at
our Friday, June 12 dinner and auction is truly a special treat.  And once
the word gets out, I’m hoping we have enough room at the Bali Hai
Restaurant on Shelter Island to accommodate everyone who is looking to
meet Paul and hear him speak." The inaugural West Marine/Challenged America Regatta is a fundraising event
supported by West Marine and San Diego’s Cortez Racing Association (CRA)
to help support the charitable Challenged America adaptive sailing program
for disabled veterans, kids and adults with disabilities. Beginning on Friday (June 12) at 4 pm, local yacht club commodores will race
in the Challenged America program’s Martin 16, two-person sailboats from the
Bali Hai Restaurant’s dock for bragging rights of winning the (perpetual). "Commodores Challenge" trophy  — that will be proudly displayed at the West
Marine store’s entrance for all to see. Following the "Commodores Challenge" race, dinner begins at 6 pm in the
newly enclosed outdoor pavilion of the Bali Hai Restaurant, with Paul
Cayard’s motivational address. 

The silent auction (with some surprises)
follows, and the evening’s festivities ends with an after-dinner social on
the waterfront edge, overlooking the scenic lights of downtown San Diego. On the next day, Saturday, June 13, the West Marine/Challenged America
Regatta officially begins with an 11 am first race start of more than 50
sailboats racing on San Diego’s Big Bay.  The post-race awards and
festive party (with food, drink, prizes, etc.) follows (4 pm) at the Point
Loma West Marine store’s parking area, on Rosecrans."We are expecting a capacity crowd for the dinner and auction on Friday,
and more than 400 racers and volunteers on Saturday, plus countless others
on the water in spectator boats and on the shoreline watching the racing.
Two races are planned for the day, with many sailors with disabilities also
racing," said Miyares.  "Everyone in San Diego will want to be part of this
exciting and fun San Diego event on the waterfront, and meet those sailors
and celebrities in attendance.  We are still seeking  sponsors, auction
items,and donations … and registration for the Regatta and ticket sales
for the Friday event are now being taken."

The West Marine/Challenged America Regatta is a yearly event to benefit the
charitable Challenged America program for kids and adults with disabilities.
A therapeutic adaptive sailing program conceived in 1978 by disabled San
Diego veterans, hundreds participate in this free,  volunteer-driven sailing
program each year. Funds from the West Marine/Challenged America Regatta will go directly
towards maintaining the program’s fleet of 12 vessels, providing free
learn-to-sail and advanced sailing opportunities for those hospitalized, in
therapeutic recovery or rehabilitation programs, and for kids and adults
living with disabilities, along with loved ones in the community.
Challenged America is a 501(c)(3) charitable program, and all contributions,
vessel donations, gifts, and business support and sponsorship are
tax-deductible to the full extent allowed.

For additional information to become a sponsor, donor or supporter, or
to register your vessel for the regatta or purchased tickets for the West
Marine/Challenged America Regatta dinner or other events,
visit www.WMCAregatta.com, or contact Kelli Garner at Challenged
America, (619) 523-9318, email [email protected].