Crowds come out for IYRS summer gala

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A record crowd of 700 guests attended the International Yacht Restoration School's annual summer gala last weekend.

Sailing personalities, local arts and cultural figures, state and government officials, marine-industry leaders and IYRS fans helped the school raise $600,000 for educational programs and scholarships.

A portion of the evening was reserved to honor the contributions of maritime artist and IYRS co-founder John Mecray. 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," IYRS president Terry Nathan said in a statement. "That took great courage and vision, which the board took from John."

The 14th annual IYRS summer gala will take place July 9, 2011.

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