IYRS Gala raises $575,000

NEWPORT, R.I. — On Sat., July 11, 500 gala-goers arrived at the International Yacht Restoration School for “A Night Under the Stars,” the astral theme of the 12th Annual IYRS Summer Gala sponsored by Land Rover North America.

Together at this event, sponsors and individuals raised $575,000 for the school’s educational programs and scholarships, the school reported.

“We are extremely grateful for the many people who support the school and recognize the important work that IYRS does,” said Carol O’Malley (San Antonio, Texas), who co-chaired the event with Joe Dockery (Newport, R.I./Greenwich, Conn.). “We have a core support group who are deeply committed to the school’s educational mission and its students—and this group continues to see us through these difficult economic times.”

In the past three years, working in concert with IYRS staff and volunteers, Dockery and O’Malley have co-chaired the most successful Galas in IYRS history in terms of funds raised, attendance, results at live and silent auctions, and corporate sponsors, according to the school. This year, Title Sponsor Land Rover North America was joined by Platinum Sponsors Condé Nast Publications, Jim Bishop, Sr., Lexus North America, Prestige Land Rover of Paramus, and Prestige Lexus of Ramsey.

Live and silent auctions featured a mix of historic watercraft, travel opportunities, maritime artifacts, and art objects. But the item that drew the largest response was an opportunity to build a scholarship fund for IYRS students. When the bid was opened for scholarships, hands went up throughout the sea of dinner tables set up inside Restoration Hall; by the close of the bidding, $68,000 had been raised for student scholarships, the school reported.

“IYRS is an important training resource for the marine industry, and these scholarship funds will help us expand opportunities for gifted and needy students … The people who gave so generously will have an important impact on the lives of these students,” said IYRS President Terry Nathan.

Commodore Sponsors included BMW ORACLE Racing, Boat International Media, Dayton Carr/VCFA Group, Dwyer Insurance, Samantha & Michael Florio/Quester Gallery, Karen & Gerry Migliaccio, Moët Hennessy USA, Panerai, Perfect Surroundings, William Vareika Fine Arts, and Vineyard Vines.

The 13th Annual IYRS Summer Gala will take place on July 10, 2010, according to the school.

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