Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta

Thirty three years ago a group of friends started a boat race to honor a man who lost his battle with cancer. That race continues, and while the event has grown with different events, the mission hasn't changed

Windsurfing around the course is just one of the events at the 33rd Annual Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta. Different racing events are held all weekend long, all of them to honor Stephen Smith, a longtime sailor who died at the age of 29.

Lee Chapin, co-chairman of the regatta, says, "He died of leukemia and we decided to dedicate this regatta to him and to try and raise money for the American Cancer Society."

One of the final events of this year's regatta is a parrot-head boat parade, and contestants go all out when it comes to decorating.

Stan Derzypolski, an organizer of the event, says, "It was pretty successful last year. Everybody did a real good job of decorating the boats, some of them are real unique, so we're doing it again this year."

As racers are sailing towards first, organizers keep tally of how much money is raised for the American Cancer Society.

Chapin says, "We've given as high as $20,000 a year for the proceeds. When the first year we did it we raised $1,400 and thought that was a horribly large amount of money."

Although they don't like to set a goal in dollar amounts, everyone is happy to know the money is going to fund cancer research.

Organizers combine donations from sponsors, registration fees, and money from an auction to donate to the American Cancer Society.


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