While sailing is a recreation for some people, for others it’s a way to raise funds for free hospice care.
The Sequim Bay Yacht Club is hosting the Silver Anniversary of the Reach for Hospice race starting at noon Saturday, Sept. 16, on Sequim Bay at John Wayne Marina.
Last year, the regatta earned more than $21,000 in donations and in total the club has raised more than $304,000 for the event over 25 years.
Proceeds of the regatta go to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC); a community group that provides a variety of in-home, end-of-life care free of charge to its patients funded solely by local grants and donations.
The group’s philosophy is to ensure, “compassionate care for the terminally ill, their caregivers and their families.”
VHOCC also offers a medical equipment loan program, respite care, grief support and community education.
Sequim Bay Yacht Club member Susan Sorensen realizes how important services are, such as the ones VHOCC provides for families who need care in their darkest hours.
When Sorensen’s father was terminally ill with cancer, she said she wishes she could have used services such as those offered by VHOCC.
“I had to be both a nurse and a daughter,” she said. “It took a toll.”
Sorensen said at the time she only wanted to be a daughter instead of a nurse during her father’s final days and is an advocate for the kind of care VHOCC provides.
The Reach for Hospice race started in 1991 when a group of sailors and hospice supporters raced around Smith Island.
To date, the race has evolved into a sailing regatta on Sequim Bay.
Sequim Bay Yacht Club Rear Commodore Kelly Macaulay said one of the most important aspects of being a member of the club is by participating in the race for hospice each year.
“It’s the event we do for this community by supporting it through sailing, social and rowing,” Macaulay said.
“Some years there’s more boats than others, but it continues to raise money for hospice.”
There will be multiple races held for Class A racing, Class B cruising and Class C for boats 20 feet and under.
Included in a day of sailboat racing will be a raffle with prizes. The public is invited to watch from John Wayne Marina where there will be picnic tables for spectators to sit.
To donate, you can send a check directly to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 E. Eighth St., Port Angeles, with a notation of Reach for Hospice on the memo line. Learn more about VHOCC at http://vhocc.org/