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Black Tie International


IYRS Gala on July 10 Hosts Record Crowd

Sponsors and Guests Help to Raise $600,000
For Educational Programs and Scholarships


Katherine (in red) and Bill Morong, owners of Yachting Solutions, and IYRS Trustee Martha Coolidge. Photo by:  Jay Picotte

Katherine (in red) and Bill Morong, owners of Yachting Solutions, and IYRS Trustee Martha Coolidge. Photo by:  Jay Picotte

Stephanie and Senator Lincoln Chafee Photo by: Jack Renner

Stephanie and Senator Lincoln Chafee Photo by: Jack Renner


Newport (R.I.) July 15, 2010 — A record crowd of some 700 guests flocked to the International Yacht Restoration School on Saturday, July 10 to attend the school’s 13th Annual Summer Gala sponsored by US Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management and Lexus. Sailing personalities, local arts and cultural figures, state and government officials, marine-industry leaders, and IYRS fans from as far afield as Bermuda and Texas helped the school to raise $600,000 for educational programs and scholarships.


“The event was a huge success, with the help of our sponsors and all our supporters,” said Nancy Hazlehurst Deutsch, who co-chaired the event with her father Tom Hazlehurst and her son Alex Hazlehurst Hood. “More people now understand the work that IYRS does—and together they are building a great momentum of support behind the school and helping to make this event a highlight of Newport’s summer.”


The Gala’s theme of “Old School, New School, Our School” gave a nod to past, present and future in a year when IYRS has expanded its educational offerings with a new program in composites technology, which uses materials and manufacturing methods that are very much a wave of the future.  The co-chairs—who are three generations of the same sailing family—each focused on a different part of the evening: from the 1940s, Casablanca-style cocktail hour; to an elegant sit-down dinner where 560 people dined under a cloud-white tent, with tables encircled around a center stage where world-class sailor Gary Jobson regaled the crowd as auctioneer and MC; to an after-dinner dance party that transformed the cavernous Restoration Hall into a techno-lit club and drew young supporters onto a packed dance floor.


A special part of the evening was reserved to honor the contributions that maritime artist and IYRS co-founder John Mecray has made to the school. Mecray has helped to guide IYRS from its early days when the campus was a waterfront tract of land with two abandoned historic buildings to the current day when the school is thriving with three full-time programs and continuing education courses and a campus that is now handsomely restored. After a film tribute produced by Gary Jobson, a surprised Mecray took the stage to be recognized by his peers.


“John has provided important leadership at key inflection moments in the school’s history, such as when IYRS decided to de-access the expensive restoration of Coronet in favor of growing the school,” said IYRS President Terry Nathan. “That took great courage and vision, which the Board took from John.”


Live and silent auctions featured an impressive lineup of art objects, classic boats, unique travel opportunities, and even custom-made couture. Among the items that drew top bids were a weeklong stay at the private Azzura Castle set on a secluded bay in Grenada, West Indies; a chance to enjoy summer or winter weather during a Jackson Hole vacation at a private home in the Tetons Pine Resort; and a stay in a Caribbean villa on St. Barths combined with an opportunity to race in the megayacht fleet at the St. Barths Bucket Regatta. The item that drew the most enthusiastic response from multiple bidders in the crowd was the purchase of critical equipment for the school’s programs; over $60,000  alone was raised for this student equipment.


Commodore Sponsors who joined Title Sponsors US Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management and Lexus included: AT&T, Condé Nast Publications, Dayton Carr / VCFA Group, Esquire magazine, Infonte Construction, James Bishop Sr., Karen & Gerald Migliaccio, Land Rover, Mark Watson, Morris Yachts, Perini Navi, Prestige Lexus, Prestige Land Rover, and William Vareika / Vareika Fine Arts.


The 14th Annual IYRS Summer Gala took will take place on July 9, 2011. 


For more information about IYRS and its educational programs,





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