Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yachting in Newport and the Ascot Ball in Chicago

The Annual Summer Gala, sponsored by Lexus, was the centerpiece of a weekend of festivities in the Newport area for IYRS supporters, including a regatta on classic yachts. Here, the 76-foot W-Class yachts Wild Horses and White Wings match-race off Newport.
(Photo: Jay Picotte/IYRS)
Newport (R.I.) July 18, 2007 — There was a certain kind of a magic that hovered over the International Yacht Restoration School on the evening of July 14, when this Newport school and title sponsor Lexus hosted the 10th Annual IYRS Summer Gala. It was not only the physical transformation of the school—an industrial space turned elegant by Richard Carbotti with crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling panels of diaphanous fabric: it was the fact that nearly 500 gala-goers gave so generously to this school that helps students transform their own lives by studying here and becoming skilled marine craftsmen. After the conclusion of a sit-down dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions, a record-breaking total of $650,000 was raised for the school's educational programs. 

"There was definitely magic in the air," said Joseph Dockery (Newport, R.I./Greenwich, Conn.), an IYRS Trustee who shared the event co-chairmanship with Carol O'Malley (San Antonio, Texas). "Gary Jobson was a master at getting dinner guests involved in the auction: people dug deep into their pockets to find the funds that will help IYRS continue its good work."

Sharing the school's unfailing commitment to craftsmanship, title sponsor Lexus was joined by platinum sponsors Castello delle Regine, Conde Nast Publications, Prestige Lexus of Ramsey (N.J.), and Sentient Jet Membership. 

The funds raised at the Gala represent a record for this annual event and a 33% increase over the amount raised at last year's Gala. The success of the event comes at an important time: the marine industry has a continuing need for skilled workers, and IYRS has expanded its educational offerings with a new, one-year program in Marine Systems.
She IYRS Summer Gala was held amidst the historic boats being restored—among them, the schooner yacht Coronet. Built in 1885 in Brooklyn (N.Y.) for American industrialist Rufus T. Bush, she is the last grand yacht of her time, size, and degree of originality still in existence.
To mark the event's 10th, co-chairs Dockery and O'Malley worked to make this year's gala the centerpiece of an entire weekend of festivities—including a regatta onboard a fleet of spirit-of-tradition yachts that included match-racing between W-76s White Wings and Wild Horses, evening parties at estates and waterfront homes of IYRS supporters, and a farewell brunch and cruise on Sunday onboard a fleet of private yachts. People came from as far afield as Europe, Hong Kong, and the U.S. West Coast and Gulf coast to support the event.

World-class sailor and journalist Gary Jobson served as the master of ceremonies for a live auction, which took place as guests dined on fine cuisine by Blackstone Caterers and wines by Castello delle Regine. The auction included items such as an IYRS-restored Manhasset Bay One Design sailboat and once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities, such as an invitation to join Ted Turner, Jobson, and the Courageous crew at a dinner at the America's Cup Hall of Fame (Bristol, R.I.) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the crew's Cup win.

The International Yacht Restoration School occupies a 2.5-acre waterfront campus on Newport's Thames Street, with a marina, two historic buildings, and a collection of classic watercraft donated to the school for restoration. Dedicated to education and maritime preservation, the school teaches the skills, history, art and science of building, restoring and maintaining boats and their systems. IYRS graduates are highly regarded for their passion and craftsmanship and work in modern and restoration boat yards around the world.

For more information about IYRS, visit www.iyrs.org or call 401-848-5777.
Phyllis and Tom Kelly
Gala Chairs Carol O'Malley and Joseph Dockery
Maritime artist John Mecray, co-founder of the school, and Mary Gillette
L. to r.: Anne Trautenberg and Jill Roosa; Seth and Deb Hagen; Linda Phillips.
Rex Herbert with Samantha and Michael Florio of Quester Gallery. The Florios donated an 1882 Antonio Jacobsen painting that garnered a winning bid of $40,000
Emilie and George Hinman, past Commodore of the New York Yacht Club
Ingrid Flynn, Kye Fox, and Gala Co-Chair Carol O’Malley
Alisa and Paul Callahan
Deacon Nelson, Ellen Osmond, and Jim Bishop
World-class sailor Ken Read, an America's Cup veteran who will race around the world in 2008 in the grueling Volvo Ocean Race, Kathy Read, Clay Deutsch, and Nancy Hood
The Chicago Branch of the English-Speaking Union held its annual gala, The Ascot Ball, last June at the Casino. More than 175 gathered for the evening which featured cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing to the Stanley Paul Orchestra.

Tiffany & Company and The William Blair Foundation were event sponsors for the evening. A pair of Jean Schlumberger mabe pearl earrings with diamond accents were won in a raffle drawing by Paul McDermott.
Priscilla Barlow of Winnetka and Gia McDermott of Chicago served as co-chairs of the gala. Joan Templeton is the President of the English-Speaking Union Chicago Branch. The Ascot Ball raises funds for the English-Speaking Union’s annual Shakespeare Competition which provides scholarship funds for Chicago-area high school students.
Ed Rutledge and Heather Jane Johnston
Bunky Cushing and Lynn McMahan
Peter Mark and Susan Volk
Co-chair Gia McDermott and her husband, Paul McDermott
The dance floor
Mamie Walton, Stanley Paul, and Megan McKinney
ESU President Joan Templeton and Vice President Brian D. White
Liz Sharp
Priscilla and Aaron Barlow

Photographs by Cheryl Richards(Newport); Megan Bearder (Chicago).
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