Courageous Sailing Gala on July 19

By Seth Daniel

The Courageous Sailing center is planning a major milestone next Tuesday, July 19, with a party dubbed ‘Make-A-Mark’ that will celebrate 20 years in existence and also raise money for sailing scholarships to benefit Charlestown kids.

The Make-A-Mark will take place on Pier 4 at the Courageous Sailing boathouse from 6-10 p.m. and will feature tastings from some of the best chefs in Boston, a big band orchestra and a silent and live auction.

The Boston Chefs will include four catering companies for exclusive tastings, including East Meets West, Above & Beyond, Fork Lift, and Capers Catering. The band will be the Compact Orchestra, a well known Boston big band.

It is the biggest fundraiser for the organization each year.

“This is something that really benefits the kids in the community,” said Kim Saltmarsh of Courageous. “We keep our expenses low, so that 90 percent of our revenues go to support the Courageous Kids program. That’s a program that gets them out on the water and looks to transform their lives by giving them confidence and a great skill. There’s something to be said about getting out on the water. A lot of kids don’t realize they live two blocks from the water. This program opens up a whole new world to them.”

The program has 64 percent of the kids receiving a scholarship and 27 percent of the families involved earn less than $27,000 a year. The kids that participate are typically in 4th and 5th grade. The instruction includes a mix of learning to sail, leadership training and marine science instruction.

Many of the kids hail from Charlestown, including students from the Harvard Kent Elementary School – which is just up the hill from Courageous’s home in the Navy Yard.

“The Harvard Kent principal, Jason Gallagher, was telling us about one student really grew up and found his niche and came out of himself after participating in Courageous Kids,” said Saltmarsh. “The student said he had learned to positively communicate his feelings for the first time. That’s just one of the great testimonials we get from adults and parents.”

Tickets are $85 per person and can be gotten online at  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/20th-annual-make-a-mark-tickets-25066530668.

Tickets can also be secured by calling Saltmarsh at (617) 242-3821.

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