Welcome to 2023 Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta Team gains 2023 Hospice Hero Award

This year during the annual Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta in Irvington, VA, the Hospice Hero Award went not to just one individual, usually an exceptional member, but rather, to the whole regatta team-- which rallied after a veteran co-chair stepped down due to illness, which adopted new leadership, which adapted to new challenges and like a fine engine, which revved to do the good work needing doing, without missing a beat.

Already a big regatta, striving to challenge the San Diego (CA) Hospice Regatta, now the largest of the Alliance’s contests, The Irvington, VA-based Turkey Shoot Team, with the Land-based team newly Chaired by Yankee Point Yacht Club’s John Tidwell and the Sea-based Team led by veteran Chair--Rappahannock River Yacht Club’s Tom Chapman, was further challenged: they now had to run the regatta from a new, smaller site, to run it more efficiently and to raise more money through creative efforts.

And like that fine engine, this team, with help also from Regent Point Yacht Club and other groups, worked together marvelously, with each leader, in turn, working, exchanging ideas, trying new concepts, seeking feedback and accepting course corrections. Energetic volunteers reached out to local businesses, banks, organizations, retailers and others to gather in the vital funding or valuable gifts and services that help hospice help those in need. Other skilled volunteers prepared and served meals, poured fruits of the vine, pitched tents, others cleaned up and pulled trash. Sailors set up and managed the racecourses, timed,  scored and photographed the racers. We also thank all those who raced and contributed to the success of this event.

While our Frannie Bernard so rightly earned the local Hospice Hero Award two years ago—and then gained the prestigious  National Hospice Hero Award—she wasn’t the only hero on this team: She was surrounded then--and now--by many heroes who also deserve our thanks.

Mrs. Jean Kluttz, representing The National Hospice Regatta Alliance, the sponsor of this award, offered her remarks to the audience: “The Alliance developed this award to raise awareness that everyone involved in a hospice regatta is a hero, by focusing on one hero each year. Your successful team approach is an exception that proves the rule that None of us is as strong as all of us!”

Jean (right) presented the award to team representative Capt. Jim Bennett (C) with previous Hospice Hero Fran Bernard (L),  and Co-Chair John Tidwell (R) standing by.

In addition to those cited within, the Regatta team also included: John and Carole Jean McConnico, Carroll and Commodore Win Schwab (YPYC), Barbara Ohanesian, Emily Hinton, Joel Dugan, Leslie Newman, Mike Langford, Rita Thiesen, Warren Ryan, John Henley, Evelyn Neal, and Commodore Ian Ormesher with RRYC colleagues: Kimberly Vail, Jerry Latell, and Rear Comm. John Arsenault.