On the evening of Saturday, July 8, over 650 supporters gathered for the 20th Annual IYRS Summer Gala, title sponsored by State Street. The school raised $875,000 between sponsorships, tickets, donations and auction items.  This year, for the third consecutive year, Anne & Matt Hamilton, Barbara van Beuren & Steve Glascock, and Helene & Archie van Beuren served as the gala co-chairs. Generous sponsorship support, table/ ticket sales, and live and silent auctions made the event a success benefiting the world-class experiential school.

IYRS teaches the art and science of making, building, restoring and maintaining, and in the process, inspires its graduates to work in a broad range of fields – from the marine trades and general manufacturing, to high tech firms like Autodesk, Google X, Goetz Composites and a variety of start-up businesses.

Terry Nathan, IYRS President, shared with the crowd how much progress the school has made since last year’s gala.  “We have built a new 20,000 square foot building for modern making and building, and we have developed an outwardly facing mobile lab to take the IYRS experience to high schools around the State and beyond.” Nathan noted the school’s 90%+ job placement rate continues with graduates getting employment on both coasts, in Canada, and in the Caribbean this year.

The guests gathered in and around Restoration Hall for the cocktail reception and silent auction. Following a sit-down dinner, there was a live and reverse auction conducted by C. Hugh Hildesley, senior auctioneer and 55-year veteran of Sotheby’s. Mr. Hildesley has conducted some of Sotheby’s most prestigious sales, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sale and the sale of the property of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The reverse auction raised $170,000 in scholarship funds – a critical need for many students that attend programs that are 6 – 24 months in length.

The top-earning live auction item of the evening was a week in St. Barth’s accompanied by private jet travel to and from the luxury island; this sold for $45,000. Other live auction items included a miniature ship model by Donald McNarry which sold for $28,000, a week-long stay at the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, custom sapphire and diamond earrings by Three Golden Apples, a week-long stay at South Point during the 2018 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, and an electric guitar signed by Kool & the Gang.

Kool & the Gang capped off the evening with a live performance, and from the start of the performance the dance floor was filled with fans.  The whole band, including Kool and his talented young lead singer, engaged with the packed dance floor.  Marquee entertainment has become a signature of the IYRS Gala, and this year’s performance was one of the best, according to many attendees.

This year’s Gala attracted a great lineup of supporting sponsors. Joining title sponsor State Street were Argo Group, The Hilton Group, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Haley, Jonathan Nelson, and WIMCO Villas and Hotels. Other sponsors included Bitter End Yacht Club, Boat International Media, Bristol Marine, Brooks Marine Group, Centre for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Christophe Harbour, Gowrie Group, Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, Health Media Network, Lemon and Line, Lila Delman Real Estate, McLaughlin and Moran, McMillen Yachts, Inc., Nautor’s Swan, Paul Weber Architect, The Hinckley Company, Three Golden Apples, Vickers Liquor, Vintry Fine Wines, and White Horse Tavern.

Watch a recap video of the event here – https://iyrs.wistia.com/medias/kukjxg6dc6 

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).