When life throws curve balls at good people...good people respond. Here are some of the recipients of our donations.
THE ST. CROIX FOUNDATION
She was surrounded by devastation but yet she smiled and graciously welcomed each visitor into what was her home for the next eight hours. At the entrance, a large glass jar held a prominent position available for passers by to easily drop spare change, dollar bills or an occasional five or ten.
“St. Thomas was annihilated…as was St. John,” said Mary Dema, a native of Newport, RI and lifelong resident of St. Croix. Mary was visiting Newport when Hurricane Irma unleashed its fury leveling two of three of the US Virgin Islands. In a booth donated by the Newport International Boat Show, Mary spent the next three days as a volunteer advocate for the St. Croix Foundation which was established in 1990 after the island was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.
“The St. Croix Foundation knows what the immediate needs are for relief as well as the long term needs for restoration,” stated Dema. “This foundation will be instrumental in our neighbor’s fight to get back on their feet.” Ironically, several days later, both St. Croix and Puerto Rico were hammered by the wrath of Hurricane Maria in an unprecedented near tandem assault from two Cat 5 plus monsters.
From Solo Perché/Just B-Cause, we send support and wishes to all our friends in the Caribbean for a quick and safe rebuild. May your shores return to the beauty known and loved world wide. ~Chris
NEWPORT ART MUSEUM
IT ALL STARTED WHEN….. You realize there are friends...and then there are FRIENDS!
All eyes were intently fixed on the baby blue Ford Fairlane at the end of the tiny street which acted as the finish line.
“READY…??” With both dirt covered 4T sneakers firmly planted on the cement, he leaned forward while tightly gripping the handlebars.
“ONE…” Meanwhile I straightened out my rickety wicker basket and gently touched the hot pink streamers for good luck.
“TWO…” I glanced at my adversary as he lifted one leg onto the pedal and braced for push off. Not to be beaten at the start, I quickly followed suit.
“THREE” In a grand gesture, my father dropped his arm mimicking the start of the Indy 500.
“GO!!” And we were off!!
Off on our tricycles spinning around and around, pushing and pushing…learning that you cannot win them all but if you play fairly, even a loss is a win.
I do not remember who physically won this particular tricycle race but, I believe we were both winners in the sense that a friendship began at age four that I have treasured for decades. It is rare to find such a genuine and kind heart as I have found in my friend Bill (Fitz) Fitzgerald.
Fitz recently did some work at my house and when he was finished, I asked him what the damage was. “I want you to take what you would have paid me, and make a donation for that amount to one of your causes.”
And with a smile, a wink and a blow of a kiss, he was gone.
Solo Perché Bags will make a donation to the Newport Art Museum to go toward a scholarship for art classes for a child without the funds. This donation is made in the name of Meredith Fitzgerald who is an instructor at the Art Museum.
P.S. See Fitz….I didn’t once mention the fact that you wet your pants at my fourth year Birthday party!!
RHODE ISLAND ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION
C. THOMAS CLAGETT MEMORIAL REGATTA
IT ALL STARTED WHEN....
In the summer of 2002 local Newport sailor Robie Pierce had an idea and he approached Stephanie and Judy McLennan with the idea of organizing a sailing regatta for disabled sailors with the regatta also providing a clinic and much needed coaching for the athletes participating.
The C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, was founded in 2003 and honors the late Tom Clagett (1916-2001), a U.S. Navy World War II veteran who learned to sail on the Chesapeake Bay. As a youngster he suffered temporary paralysis as the result of meningitis; it was an experience that left him with deep respect for the accomplishments of people with disabilities, especially athletes.
The first clinic and regatta was held in Newport in 2003 with 5 boats taking part and in 2017 The Clagett will celebrate 15 years of providing disabled sailors with a clinic and regatta second to none around the world.
Known for it's coaching, race management and sailing locations and facilities, The Clagett offers adaptive sailors the opportunity to sail in fleet racing in Newport, and now with a partnership with Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay NY sailors can now also take part in the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Regatta.
The Clagett’s mission is to provide sailors with adaptive needs the opportunity to improve their skills and reach their personal goals through world-class coaching focused on Corinthian values. Open to both U.S. and foreign competitors, The Clagett is an integral part of the training for athletes with adaptive needs who are preparing for National and World Championship racing.
Since the start of The Clagett in 2003, athletes have come from across the USA (19 states), Canada (4 Provinces), Israel, China, Ireland, Norway, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, V.I. to take part in this world-renowned event.
In the last three Paralympic Games, Clagett sailors won three Gold, five Silver and nine Bronze medals and in 2012 Clagett sailor Jen French was named Rolex Yachtswomen.