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Schoonmaker gift for US Olympic team

Published on March 9th, 2022

The Florida-based Schoonmaker Foundation has pledged $5 million over the next five years to the US Sailing Foundation to create the James M. “Ding” Schoonmaker II Project Pinnacle Endowment Fund.

Project Pinnacle is US Sailing’s Olympic program to support US Athletes regaining and sustaining preeminence in Olympic sailing.

The Foundation also offered an additional $2.5 million challenge fund, giving individual donors, businesses, and foundations the opportunity to have their gifts matched dollar-for-dollar, bringing Schoonmaker’s gift to a total of $7.5 million and the Endowment to $10 million.

This gift was made in memory of World Champion and National Sailing Hall of Famer, James M. “Ding” Schoonmaker, who passed away in January 2021 at the age of 87.

“We are indebted to Ding’s wife, Treecie, and the entire Schoonmaker Board for entrusting us with this very special gift,” said US Sailing Association CEO Alan Ostfield. “It is an honor to carry on Ding’s legacy and engage with additional donors to promote excellence in competitive sailing in his name.”

At 19, Schoonmaker placed second in the Star Olympic trials and was named the US team’s alternate for the Helsinki 1952 Olympics. He earned that honor again at the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. Along the way, Schoonmaker won Star North American, South American, Western Hemisphere and European Championships, including the 1975 World Championship. He also won the Bacardi Cup a record eight times.

Paul Cayard, Executive Director of US Olympic Sailing, sees the Schoonmaker gift as a call to action. “Treecie and the Schoonmaker Board have shown their confidence in the US Olympic team,” Cayard said. “By offering a challenge fund, they are inviting us all to invest in the future with them and make the quest for gold a reality. It’s a perfect way to honor Ding and cultivate American sailing prominence.”

Contribute to the Schoonmaker challenge online, by sending a check to the US Sailing Foundation at 1 Roger Williams University Way, Bristol, RI 02809, or by calling the US Sailing Foundation at 401-342-7922.

For more information about gift opportunities:
Jill Nosach. Chief Development Officer:

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