2016-07-14 / Around Town

'Launching Life’s Adventure'

David Dawes and Kim Fleming David Dawes and Kim Fleming Held in memory of Vice Adm. Thomas R. Weschler (Dec. 21, 1917 – April 3, 2016), the fourth annual summer fundraising party for Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) on July 1 raised more than $100,000. Weschler was a driving force behind the Tall Ship since its inception and remained actively involved into his final days.

Aptly named, “Launching Life’s Adventure,” this year’s event raised funds for OHPRI's education-at-sea programs that begin this summer aboard Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry.

“This marks a huge milestone in the history of OHPRI,” said the nonprofit's Executive Director Jess Wurzbacher in her address to the guests. “Later this month, our first group of trainees (some of whom are attending here) will sail aboard our brand new ship and experience the exhilaration of sailing the largest civilian Tall Ship in the U S.”

Joe and Stephanie Miner Joe and Stephanie Miner The building of the ship has been a $16 million economic development project, which has supported hundreds of jobs in Rhode Island's marine industry.

The 200-foot ship was dockside at Newport Shipyard and open for tours during cocktail hour with a special appearance by the Shifty Sailors, a men’s singing group from the Pacific Northwest who performs at Tall Ships festivals around the world. The event, which hosted 350 guests, continued with dinner by Blackstone Caterers and dancing to the music of Dance Floor DJ.

Beth and Kevin Coughlin 
Photos by Molly Lo Photography Beth and Kevin Coughlin Photos by Molly Lo Photography

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