The Leukemia Cup Regatta held at the Houston Yacht Club June 18-20 is once again the leading fundraising regatta in the country raising $270,000 on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the patients they serve.
All proceeds from the regatta, which was a weekend series of sailing races as well as a fundraiser, go directly to the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
About 130 boats from as far away as Oklahoma, Dallas and Austin, joined the ranks of sailors from throughout the Houston area to participate in the sailing fundraiser to show their support for a good cause, according to HYC member Cheryl Thomas, regatta chairman.
"The sailors became even more involved in the fundraiser this year,"
Thomas said. "This reaffirms that we are spreading our base for people becoming involved and trying to find a cure for leukemia."
The Leukemia Society and HYC have worked hand in hand for the past six years on the annual regatta. About 47 regattas are held throughout the country each year. HYC has been the top fundraising regatta for the past two years raising $284,000 in 2003 and $233,000 in 2002.
Thomas, who now calls La Porte home, has been the chairman for HYC's Leukemia Regatta for the past three years.
"The reason I am so active in the Leukemia Regatta is I lost my sister to lymphoma eight years ago,"
Thomas said. "And with the help from everyone, we will continue to make huge strides in medical technology to find a cure for leukemia and lymphoma."
A lot of kids participated in the racing as well as fundraising. Anthony and Michael SCRUGGS, HYC Ragnots (youth sailors), raised more than $4,000 by sending fundraising letters to friends and family. HYC members Rob LAROCQUE and Carole CLAUSE with Energy2Cure raised almost $100,000 and Terri CONWELL raised $85,000 at the Columbia Lakes Golf Tournament, which was held May 1 at Columbia Lakes Resort in Brazoria County.
"Our appreciation is extended to Terri for donating her facility to host the Leukemia Cup Golf Tourney,"
said Lydia HIRT, deputy executive director for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Another fundraising effort included an auction June 19 at HYC where $7,000 was raised.
"At the auction my husband asked his friend sitting next to him how much he thought the 7-foot neon palm trees on the stage would cost,"
Thomas said. "His friend said why don't you ask your wife because she just bought them."
A spectator boat, "Observer," donated by Kirby Corporation took patients, their families and sailing spectators out to view the racing action June 20.
Pasadena residents Clint and Rebecca Raney and their 3-year-old daughter Jessie were among the spectators. Jessie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoid Leukemia in 2003.
Evan KERR, HYC member and La Porte resident since 1956, treated 12 friends and family to a cruise on the spectator boat. "We were proud to see the generous support of all the fundraising activities coming from the sailboat racing community on Galveston Bay,"
said HYC Commodore David HAGLUND. "We know the proceeds will have a significant impact on the programs of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society."
According to Thomas, this year's success was based on all of the volunteers.
"Thank you to everyone who volunteered, sailed, played golf and dug deep into their pockets while donating their hard-earned money,"
Thomas said. "Maybe this year we will help find the cure."
For a complete list of race results, visit the HYC Web site at the address below.