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April 04, 2009 - Community Sailing: An Evening in Polynesia

What: Community Saling of Colorado, Spirit of Saling Gala

Where: Phipps Tennis Pavilion

When: Saturday, April 4, 2009

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $100 per ticket, $150 for Patron

Beneficiary: Community Sailing of Colorado, Ltd. and Children

Master of Ceremonies: KCNC TV4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera

Honoree(s): Steve and Jan Davis

Presenting Sponsor(s): KEW Realty

Gala Chairperson(s): Sarah Riopelle and Mary Jo Houser

Co-Chair(s): David Spira

Executive Director: Steven Frank

Committee Members: Lynn Boyd, Carla Williams, Scott Sofa, Nick Kohlhepp, Sara Summers, Amy DeVoogd, Dodie Ownes, James Creasey, Mary Anne Byrne, Bob Wing, Joe Beierl, Patrick McClellan, Deanna Heyn, Mike Ledger, Ellie Horn, Lisa Buscietta, Lisa Brinkman, Candi Epperson, Amy Zsohar, Danielle Hicks, Jacob Ware, Donna Backes, Jan Anderson, Jack Dusendschon, Jay Price, Randolph Williams, and Katie Price

Speaker: 2008 Olympian Carrie Howe

Catering: Panache Catering

Music: Kama'aina EP Hawaiian Jazz Ukulele

Sponsors: KEW Realty Corporation, RBC Wealth Management – The Elmore DeRose Group, Well-Balanced Accounting, Sunsail and DaVita

Auctioneer: Chris Riopelle and Dave Aguilera

Attendance: 150 distinguished supporters

Donors: Doug and Karen Swenson family, Steve and Jan Davis family, Mike and Rhonda Maas family, Chris and Sarah Riopelle family, Peter Weil family, Charles and Lisa Duke family, Ken and Sue Hovland family, Tim and Donnell Berg family, Bill Tracy family, Ross Simpson Family, Lynn Boyd family, Jerry Shustrin and Mary Toornman

Board of Directors: Sarah Riopelle, Mary Jo Houser, David Spira, Donnell Berg, Ellie Horn, Jay Price, Joan Theis and Nick Kohlhepp

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer

 Board member David Spira, left, with Carrie Howe and Executive Director Steve Frank
Board member David Spira, left, with Carrie Howe and Executive Director Steve Frank

Some may ask what learning to sail can teach a child, which will serve them well in the life that lays ahead of them. Talk with the staff, board and supporters of Community Sailing of Colorado, Ltd. and they’ll tell you: responsibility for your actions, ability to think on your seat, pride of leaning a new skill, value of team work, love of a community and the sheer joy of being a part of nature, wind and water. 

CSC operates a summer sailing program and camp for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 17. Since 1995, over 4,200 young people have participated in CSC’s summer sailing programs. Sailing as a teaching tool can arguably have a history as long as civilization itself. There are sailing schools and programs in nearly every state in the union and every region of the world. Some of these schools are associated with institutions of learning and some like CSC are stand alone non profits. 

An Evening in Polynesia was Community Sailing’s 10th Annual Spirit of Sailing Gala, this year held at Phipps Tennis Pavilion. This event is a fundraiser benefiting children and a celebration of sailing. Acting as Master of Ceremonies: KCNC TV4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera cut a dashing figure in his tuxedo and had a welcoming smile for everyone, despite being slightly off about the predicted blizzard. Honored for their significant contribution to Community Sailing of Colorado (CSC) and the sport of sailing were Steve and Jan Davis.  

The highlight of the evening came when Carrie Howe, 2008 Olympian and ICSA All-American sailor, rose to the podium to share her adventures and love of sailing. Carrie Howe and two other college-aged teammates surprised the sailing world in 2003 by piloting a 21-foot yngling keelboat to victory in the prestigious Rolex Olympic Classes Regatta in Miami, U.S. Sailing. Five years later, Howe and her team,  including skipper Sally Barkow and jib trimmer and tactician Debbie Capozzi, ranked fifth in the world in yngling class sailing. In 2008, Team 7 fulfilled a lifelong dream and vied for a medal at the 2008 Olympics in China. 

In keeping with the Polynesian theme, the silent auction items were grouped into Tikis, including boutique, with a host of specialty items, many related to sailing; a travel and lodging Tiki with mountain, sea and African adventures up for the highest bidder; also entertainment,  dining, health & beauty and of course nautical Tikis.

The live auction was presided over by Chris Riopelle with a little help from emcee Dave Aguilera and gala chairperson Sarah Riopelle. The live auction included oil painting “Sailing in Colorado” by Sandra Morrow, a chef prepared dinner for six by Executive Chef Lance Barto from Strings Restaurant and two luxurious sailing adventures: one by Sunsail Yacht Charter in the Caribbean and the other aboard the Dove II, a vintage schooner on the Chesapeake Bay with Mike Taber. 

Last year CSC raised $49,000, and was able to award 28 children scholarships and financial aid so they could participate in summer sailing camps. Children from disadvantaged families, youth-at-risk and special needs kids, (autistic, disabled, deaf, blind, Downs Syndrome, ADD and many more special needs) comprised a group of over 400 children who participated that may not have without assistance. This year, CSC set a goal to raise $65,000, which will enable CSC to provide education, outreach programs, youth programs, fund a scholarship program for disadvantaged children, expand activities and continue to grow an endowment for scholarships. At CSC, truly “it’s about the kids.”

With a dedicated staff, a powerful board and enthusiastic supporters, Community Sailing of Colorado will choose a star, set a course and raise sail to a bright future.

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