Leukemia Cup/AquaQuest wrap up

by Tim Flanagan on June 16, 2010

Hundreds [including the crew of Two Lucky Fish. —Tim] took to the water on June 12th on Elliott Bay and Lake Union for The Leukemia Cup Regatta and AquaQuest, pilule raising more than $125, prostate 000 for blood cancer research and patient services.

SEATTLE – Hundreds of people took to the water on Saturday June 12th for the 16th annual Leukemia Cup Regatta and first ever AquaQuest, generic a scavenger hunt on Lake Union for powerboaters. Under bluebird skies, a total of 78 boats (58 sailboats and 20 powerboats) tacked back and forth across Elliott Bay or motored around Lake Union and environs.  It was a postcard-perfect day. The sailors and their guests enjoyed perfect sailing conditions – sunny and 5-15 knots of breeze – with stunning downtown and Olympic Mountain vistas.  Lake Union was chock-full of vessels of all kinds, shapes and sizes, adding to the fun of AquaQuest.  Participants were tasked with solving the ‘great clam chowder calamity of 2010’ and spent the afternoon criss-crossing the lake looking for Duke’s stolen clam chowder recipe.

Later that evening more than 200 of the boaters and their friends gathered at the Downtown Waterfront Marriott hotel to swap tales of their day on the water and bid on great items at “Under The Sea,” the post-event auction and party, em-cee’d  by King 5 TV’s Evening Magazine host Meeghan Black.  Between the pre-event fundraisers, the fundraising efforts of the skippers and their crews and the money raised at “Under The Sea”, this community of generous boaters raised more than $125,000. The final tally could be much more as donations are still coming in. This brought The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) one step closer to its mission:  to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

“We’re grateful to all those long-time participants who turned out, as well as for all the newcomers who joined us this year. We love that people are willing to combine their passion for sailing and boating with raising money for a good cause,” said Anne Gillingham, executive director of the Washington/Alaska Chapter of LLS. “The Seattle boating community has been incredibly generous and supportive over the years, and this year was no exception, you could feel the commitment and support at the events and the party.”

For Brian Watkins, this was his ninth Leukemia Cup Regatta. In addition to his regular crew he hosted two patients and their loved ones on board The Declaration of Independence, his Express 37.  "It was a great day and having patients and their families aboard made the connection for why we were out there and what we can do together as a boating community,” said Watkins.

Tom Thornton, service manager for Seattle Boat Newport participated in AquaQuest.  For Thornton the event had special meaning. His wife Diana was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant with their second child fifteen years ago.  She underwent chemotherapy in her third trimester, and after their daughter Samantha was born Diana underwent a bone marrow transplant. Seattle Boat Company provided two boats for AquaQuest so that staff and their friends could support the cause. Tom’s crew of 10 included five nurses from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  Locally, LLS funds 11 researchers at the Hutchinson Center and three at the University of Washington.

“It was a totally fun day on the water and the clues were amazing”, said Thornton. “But more importantly, it was great way for us to give back to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Without the important research that they fund, Diana and Samantha would not be here today.  Everyone on the boat kept thanking me for taking them out for such a great event, but I kept telling them they were the ones to be thanked for all they do.”

About The Leukemia Cup Regatta

In 2009, more than 9,000 sailors at 38 Leukemia Cup Regatta events in 21 states combined a passion for sailing with an equal passion to fight cancer. Participants raised $3.8 million in 2009 to help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) advance its mission. Since inception of the Regatta in 1993, more than $31 million has been raised. The 2009 Seattle Leukemia Cup raised more than $180,000. Locally, AquaQuest was added in 2010 so that powerboaters would have a way to contribute to the cause.

About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Every four minutes, someone new is diagnosed; every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer.   Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research, $71.4 million in fiscal year 2008 alone.  The Society currently funds $9,825,000 million for research performed right here in Seattle—a level far above the national average, with 11 local researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.

The Seattle Leukemia Cup Regatta is presented by Elliott Bay Marina, Downtown Sailing Series, BMW Seattle, Trinchero Napa Valley and the Boat Insurance Agency. National sponsors: Jobson Sailing, North Sails, Sailing World, Mount Gay Rum, Ken Gardiner Model Maker, John Mecray Limited Editions, Offshore Sailing School, Vineyard Vines and West Marine.

AquaQuest is presented by SeattleBoatShow.com.  Elliott Bay Marina, Sea-Dog Line, Seattle Boat Company, Duke’s Chowder House, The Electric Boat Company and Alaska Airlines are sponsors.

For more information, please visit www.leukemiacup.org/wa and www.aquaquestwa.org or call (206) 957-4577.

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