On Friday, September 29, the yachting community will come together at Newport Shipyard to paddle in the Shipyard’s annual “Pumpkin Regatta” which raised $3,018 for the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund in 2016. A different charity is named each year and this year, Shipyard employees chose Warrior Sailing Program which provides maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill, and injured service members; and two charities aiding in hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda Search and Rescue (ABSAR) and Sea Mercy.

Yacht crews, many of whom spend the winter season in the Caribbean, are helping to organize this year’s Pumpkin Regatta by spreading the word to other yachts, securing raffle items from local businesses, and donating goods for the event. Yacht crews at the Shipyard are also accepting bed linens, towels, clothing, and other dry goods to take to the Caribbean later this Fall. Donations can be dropped at the Shipyard during the Pumpkin Regatta. “In the wake of the three devastating hurricanes in the past month, we felt the need to take action and help our friends in the Caribbean start to rebuild what has been lost,” said Eli Dana, Newport Shipyard’s general manager. “Many of our customers spend winters in Saint Maarten, Antigua, and Saint Barth’s, all of whom have been impacted by hurricanes this year,” Dana said. “We have also been longtime supporters of Warrior Sailing and are proud to help their organization as well.”

Paddlers will pay $25 each to race across the Shipyard’s “main street” basin and around a buoy and back in fiberglass pumpkins which have been painted red, white & blue to honor Warrior Sailing Program. Each team will have 4-5 paddlers in the relay-style race, which will be timed by Shipyard employees. The team with the best time will receive four bottles of champagne and bragging rights as the 2017 Pumpkin Regatta winners. Interested paddlers can register online at: http://www. newportshipyard.com/events/ pumpkinregatta

Local Newport businesses including the Clarke Cooke House, Newport Marriott, Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation, Providence Bruins, and Bridge Liquors have made donations to the raffle, which will take place during the Pumpkin Regatta from 4-7pm. “A big thanks to our donors and sponsors who are helping to make this annual event a huge success,” Dana said.

For more information about events, Newport Shipyard hosts and organizes, visit www.NewportShipyard.com.