Olympic fever hit New York City on Tuesday night when the Sailing Foundation of New York joined with the Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING and the New York Yacht Club for the 2004 Golden Spinnaker Gala.
The event was a fund raiser for the sailors representing the U.S.A. at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, later this year. Nearly 300 guests converged on the club's famous Manhattan clubhouse for the black-tie event, which included dinner with the athletes and both live and silent auctions.
"With the event just concluded, we have much accounting still to do, but we anticipate that we have raised many times more than has been raised before through an event like this,
" said Golden Spinnaker Gala Event Chairman Bill SANDBERG (Riverside, Conn.). "It was simply an outstanding evening, blending the enthusiasm and charisma of the Olympic and Paralympic sailors with the charm and generosity of the people who make the sport of sailing so dynamic."
Renowned sailing commentator Gary JOBSON (Annapolis, Md.) hosted the event with his usual aplomb, presenting videos that caught the action at the 2000 Olympic Regatta and previewed the potential of the 2004 team members, who had been elegantly dressed for the evening in apparel provided by US Sailing Team sponsor Nautica International, Inc.
Live auction items included Super Bowl and New York Jets "owner's box" tickets, clinics with Olympic sailors and signed Olympic flags. The top bids of the night were made on two trips to the Olympics-one an eight-day stay, including airfare, lodging and tickets to the Opening Ceremony and selected events ($8,000) and the other a similar 11-day trip, with tickets to the Closing Ceremony included ($9,000).
"With the addition of funds raised at this gala, the Sailing Foundation of New York will have raised in excess of three quarters of a million dollars to help sailors around the world,"
said the organization's founder George M. ISDALE, Jr. (Greenwich, Conn.), who noted that all proceeds from the gala will go directly to support the athletes of the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. "It fits beautifully with our mission."
Sponsors for the evening were Dry Creek Vineyards; Impression Point, Inc.; Mercury Print and Mail, Inc.; and US Sailing Team sponsor Vineyard Vines.