2014-08-07 / Around Town

Super Yachts Say ‘Welcome Aboard’ for Charity

By Jacquelyn Moorehead

For twice the luxury and indulgence, the Boys & Girls Club of Newport (BGCN) decided to make its 35th annual gala affair dinner and dance evening into a twonight rendezvous with a seaside feel.

The party starts at the kickoff event, the Super Yacht Hop and VIP Cocktail Reception, in Newport Shipyard on Thursday, Aug. 14 from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. New this year, the Yacht Hop is a dock party where guests are invited onto luxury vessels to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, specialty drinks, live music and a taste of the “good life.”

“People find their favorite boats and just stay on them,” said Kim Herrlinger, event chair and BGCN board member. Each of the yachts has its own theme party and will compete to see who can throw the best boat bash. Mexico is one theme, and partygoers will drink margaritas while aboard, enjoying a Latin American ambience.

Pairing two island staples, yachting and mansions, makes the title to the affair, “Newport Nights,” very fitting. “Events like this are natural for a city like Newport,” Joseph Pratt, BGCN executive director and CEO said. “We are taking advantage of our surroundings and making the most of them.”

“This event adds a second night featuring a Yacht Hop in conjunction with our existing Dinner Dance Party of 35 years – an event which has provided such strong financial support to the club.”

Pratt, who started at the BGCN in January, said he and the board members almost immediately began working to add the yacht hop to enhance the fundraiser. He added, “What is important is supporting the club and introducing our mission, to enable all youth to achieve their full potential, to a new and different audience.”

Approxi- mately 250 children are served every day during the school year at the BGCN. It provides mentorship, computer use, and music and art programs to children in need. Herrlinger said the club provides a safe place to go after school. “This is a very serious issue,” she added. “These events are fundraisers to keep the club open and expose it so people know it’s there. ”

Adding an extra night brings guests from the docks of Newport to the oceanside veranda of Rosecliff for the VIP Dinner and Dance Party on Friday, Aug. 15.

“The dinner dance has happened for more than 30 years. It’s part of the Newport summer social scene,” Pratt noted. The dinner and dance party was a costume ball until three years ago. Now, attendees are encouraged to simply dress in “casual chic attire.”

Models for Angela Moore will wear resort style clothing on the boardwalk Thursday, showcasing new alternatives to black-tie dress.

BGCN shaped the event like the Ft. Lauderdale Boys & Girls Club of Broward County chapter’s Dine Around the Docks. That rendezvous takes partygoers on a threeday excursion to Paradise Island, Bahamas. The boats tie off at the dock for an over-the-top yacht party. The soirée, now in its 27th year, has raised more than $30 million for their club.

Tickets to the Newport gala, which begin at $500 for both nights, and BGCN will hold high-end silent auctions each evening. The grand prize, a 5-night, 6-day vacation in the private West Indian Azzurra Castle in Grenada, will be awarded Friday night. The luxury Caribbean home comes with its own beach and housekeeping staff. Other prizes include a trip to Tuscany and Ocean Reef in Key Largo.

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