Yacht restoration school celebrates milestone at Summer Gala

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On Saturday evening, July 11, supporters and fans of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport will flock to the campus for the 12th annual Summer Gala.

The festive evening, "A Night Under the Stars," is the school's largest fund-raiser of the year. But this year's gala also marks a school milestone: the completion of the restoration of the 1831 Aquidneck Mill building. Gala-goers will celebrate on campus, under a tent placed in the shadow of the historic mill.

"After 14 years of fund-raising and work to restore our historic campus, we have fulfilled an important institutional mission: to safeguard our historic buildings as part of America’s working waterfront," said IYRS President Terry Nathan of the Mill's completion. "It is indeed a wonderful milestone — made all the more remarkable given the recent economic headwinds." According to Nathan, "A Night Under the Stars" is also a celebration of the brightest students who enter the doors of IYRS each fall and graduate as true craftsmen and technicians.

A live auction, featuring an impressive lineup of items that appeal to avid sailors and fans of classic boats, will be held during the evening. Among this year's auction items are: an IYRS-built replica of a rare 19th century Whitehall rowing boat; a day on the water with the A-team of BMW Oracle Racing, the U.S. Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup; dinner and a one-night stay onboard the extraordinary 1901 yacht Cangarda that was recently restored by Dr. Robert McNeil, who is currently restoring Coronet on the IYRS campus; and an opportunity to help build a scholarship endowment for gifted and needy IYRS students.

A silent-auction "Collectors' Gallery" will again be on view during the gala, with artwork by notable artists such as John Mecray and David Bareford, an IYRS-restored Beetle Cat, a Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante Regatta Watch, and many other items. All proceeds from the auctions go to benefit the school.

An opening reception July 9 will preview the work of noted marine photographer Onne van der Wal.

Two levels of gala tickets are available. Guests can arrive at 6 p.m. for a cocktail reception, dinner, live and silent auctions, dancing, and a special performance by Kate Taylor, who shares a musical heritage with her brothers James and Livingston ($300 per person). Or guests can arrive at 9 p.m. for cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dessert, silent auction, and dancing ($100 per person). The gala ends at midnight.

For information, click here. To purchase tickets to the opening reception and the Gala, contact Deirdre Opp at 401-848-5777, ext. 217.