Sequim Bay will be a bit quieter come late September, but local boaters are still hoping to make a difference for their yacht club’s favorite charity.
After putting off a decision on the club’s biggest annual fundraiser, Sequim Bay Yacht Club and organizers of its Reach and Row for Hospice have decided to cancel the 2020 event.
The threat of COVID-19 and corresponding health restrictions made hosting the event impractical and unsafe, event chair Susan Sorensen said last week.
“I think that there was a hope that the COVID restrictions would be lifted … but the safety of all the community and the participants (is paramount),” Sorensen said.
The event, held from more than two-and-a-half decades, includes a sailboat regatta and, for the past two events, rowing and paddle races on Sequim Bay. Held at the end of September, the event also includes a large potluck for competitors.
The beneficiary is Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC). The yacht club’s largest fundraiser brings in tens of thousands of dollars each year — about $23,000 at the 2019 event and $31,000 the year prior, Sorensen said — to help pay for respite care.
Over the years, the event has raised about $385,000 for VHOCC.
The funds help families get the rest they need from taking care of terminal family members.
While event organizers are unable to sail and row for funds, they are hosting a raffle for a quilt made by club members and are taking donations as well. Tickets are $5 each or six for $25, and can be purchased until Dec. 7 and the drawing will be Dec. 9.
Raffle ticket purchases should be sent to SBYC, PO Box 1261, Sequim WA 98382; make the check payable to VHOCC with “Reach and Row for Hospice” on the memo line, and include an address or email address. For more about the raffle, email to email@example.com.
Though the event won’t go on this year, the need for boosting Volunteer Hospice goes on, Sorensen said.
“People are still sick; family members still need respite care,” she said. “We’re just trying to do what we can.”
Donations are tax-deductible, Sorensen noted.
“This isn’t the only organization running up to barrier to raising money,” she said. “All of the nonprofits are hurting because the usual venues aren’t (open).”
For more information, see www.sequimbayyacht.club/reach-for-hospice.
Make tax-deductible donations to: VHOCC, 829 E. Eighth St., Port Angeles WA 98362, with “Reach and Row for Hospice” in the subject line.