Ralph Macchio returns as community ambassador
Sailboats decorated to the nines will congregate in Port Jefferson Harbor for the 9th annual Village Cup Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 8. A friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, the race raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and The Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. The event has raised more than $442,000 for the two organizations.
The boat race was initiated by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club (formerly Setauket Yacht Club) primarily to call attention to and to support efforts to combat pancreatic cancer, which has claimed the lives of two of its members in recent years. The event also promotes a closer relationship between the club and the village in the wonderful maritime setting they share.
Actor/director and local resident Ralph Macchio will again act as community ambassador for the event. This is the sixth year Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the regatta. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.
The regatta consists of yacht club-skippered sailboats divided into two teams representing Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson. Employees from the hospital and village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size.
The festivities begin at Harborfront Park, 101 East Broadway, at 10 a.m. Regatta T-shirts designed by a local artist and signed by Macchio will be available for purchase along with the event’s commemorative T-shirts, hats and nautical bags. The Memorial Parade of Boats begins at 11 a.m. at the Port Jefferson Village dock. All sailboats participating in the regatta will pass by the park dressed in banners and nautical flags.
Following the regatta, a celebratory Skipper’s Reception and presentation of the Village Cup will take place in a restored 1917 shipyard building that now serves as the Port Jefferson Village Center.
The cup is currently held by Mather Hospital, which has won the race three times. The Village of Port Jefferson has earned the cup four times, and bad weather forced the cancellation of the 2012 race.
Businesses, organizations and individuals can support the regatta and the programs it funds by making a donation or purchasing tickets to attend the Skipper’s Reception or view the regatta on a spectator boat. Sponsorships also are available. For more information, visit www.portjeffersonyachtclub.com.