YOUNGSTOWN – The 14th annual Jack Beatty Memorial Hospice Cruise and Clambake, scheduled for July 12, will appeal to those who love to sail, of course, but also those who prefer terra firma.
The event takes place at the Youngstown Yacht Club, with all proceeds going to Niagara Hospice. It will honor Beatty, a lifelong sailor, who lost his battle with cancer in 2001.
In this unique fundraiser, members of the yacht club and other boat owners take participants on an afternoon cruise on the Niagara River. Participants enjoy snacks on the boats, as well as the scenery.
In yet another twist, they also enjoy live music while on the water.
“We go up the Niagara River and raft up a number of boats together and put the band, the Junkyard Dogs, right on a boat, too, so that we can listen to them as we drift,” said Adam Burns, co-chairman of the event.
After the boats return to the yacht club, participants enjoy a clambake and buffet, and music by Soul Committee.
A silent auction also will be included, featuring gifts donated by local businesses and community members.
“My wife, Lori, is heading up the auction,” Burns said. “The people in Niagara County have been very generous, and they do this year after year. It’s unbelievable how people help with this.
“And, 100 percent of the profits go to Niagara Hospice,” Burns added.
“Hospice has touched my life twice, and I’m only 35,” he said, alluding to the deaths of his mother and grandfather, who both received hospice care.
“When you walk into a room at Hospice, it looks like a hotel room or a condo because they hide everything” he said, referring to the medical equipment. “They just roll out the red carpet for everyone.”
Last year, the event raised a record $36,000 with 200 participants and 39 boats.
Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support since 1988 to more than 20,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. No one is ever denied hospice care due to ability to pay.
Burns added, “This is a terrific event, and we are so thankful to everyone who has made it such a success. We are looking forward to another great year. It is such a good time for a very worthy cause.”
While spots on boats are reserved well in advance, there are plenty of tickets still available for just the clambake.