Founder of Hospice Regattas Honored

Published on June 2nd, 2013

Virginia Holland Brown, co-founder of the original Hospice Cup regatta in Annapolis, Maryland, and founder of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, was honored on April 13, with the rededication of the national championship perpetual trophy as the ‘Virginia Brown Inspiration Trophy’ during the 2013 Hospice Regattas Championship in St. Petersburg, Florida.

While announcing the newly dedicated trophy, Alliance President Jean Kluttz, stated, “Without Virginia Brown, there would be no hospice regattas as we know them. Nor an Alliance that links them. Nor a championship! Dozens of communities would have less knowledge of and less money for their hospice services.”

Mrs. Brown, who forged a virtual career based on raising awareness and money for hospice care, created a fundraising event model that inspired others to develop regattas in their communities to benefit local hospices.

The original hospice regatta fundraiser which began in 1982 with just 19 boats, has inspired over 27 additional fundraising regattas in the United States and Canada.

Collectively, the hospice regattas have netted over $17 million to directly benefit local and regional hospices.

With a dozen regattas in place by 1999, Brown realized that there was potential for growth, and formed the National Hospice Regatta Alliance (NHRA), as a way to connect the current regattas and make room for new ones.

In 2000, Brown organized the first national hospice championship regatta in Annapolis, Maryland, as a way to celebrate and connect all of the hospice regattas around the nation.

Also at the dedication ceremony was past president of US Sailing, James Muldoon, who was instrumental in building the popularity and success of the Annapolis regatta. Muldoon stated to Mrs. Brown, “As a result of your hard work, hundreds and thousands of people benefited from your dedication, creativity and hard work. You and your co-founders taught us all how to have a great time and raise money for a wonderful cause.”

“As a former president of the sport of sailing, I would like to thank you on behalf of all racing sailors for allowing us to be part of this wonderful hospice experience that continues to serve so many,” added Muldoon.

Mrs. Brown’s trophy dedication was presented upon her recent retirement from the NHRA and over 30 years of vision, inspiration and service. Her own words to the assembled championship participants summed up her dedication to hospice, “Thank you for the honor, but it is YOU who have been, and are, the inspiration for me.”

About the National Hospice Regatta Alliance
The National Hospice Regatta Alliance (NHRA), the coordinating organization of North American sailing regattas benefitting hospice. The NHRA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 27 sailing regattas that independently raise money and awareness for hospices in their communities. It represents a rapidly expanding network of regattas that publicize Hospice care. NHRA is an all-volunteer organization helping hospice regattas grow and learn from each other, and promoting Hospice care nationally. NHRA member regattas annually net more than $1 million, which go to hospices that provide hospice care to terminal patients and their families without regard to ability to pay.

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