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On Thursday, April 5, Sailing Heals hosted its Sail Away Soirée, sponsored by J. Barrett & Co., at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, kicking off the non-profit’s seventh season with a Gatsby-style/vintage sailing theme, benefiting Sailing Heals and honoring its patient guests.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman was on hand to sign copies of his book, Stronger. iHeart Media’s local popular radio and TV personality Billy Costa was the auctioneer host for the evening and DJ Dan Maguire of Mansfield Entertainment Agency provided entertainment. Additionally, guests enjoyed a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, several buffet stations, a travel-themed auction, uplifting patient stories, and dancing, along with video highlights from the year, courtesy of Hot Pineapple Productions. Back Stage Photo Booth was also on hand to capture the fun of the evening.

With the goal of providing more joyful experiences for people going through serious health challenges, Massachusetts-based non-profit Sailing Heals was chartered in 2011 and is now celebrating its seventh year of operations. Sailing Heals, is a 501c3 that provides days of healing and relaxation for patients and families (called “VIPs”) undergoing a serious health setback, such as cancer.

With support from Eisai Pharmaceuticals, the Zucker Family Foundation, and private donors, Sailing Heals has hosted complimentary seaside lunches and yachting events in over 20 ports in nine different states for over 3,000 VIP guests, thanks to about 240 volunteer host captains.

Sailing Heals’ board president, Dr. Lori Wirth of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, says this about the organization, “Sailing Heals offers our patients who are going through one of the greatest challenges in life a chance to get away from it all and simply enjoy a healing day out on a beautiful boat on the water with family and friends. The joy and memories that result can last forever. My own patients have come back with so many great stories that I’ve even began ‘prescribing’ a day with Sailing Heals to some.”

To view the short video about the mission of Sailing Heals that was showcased at the event, click here:

And, here’s a recap of the jazzy and inspiring soirée in photographs.

Photos by Larry Prentice Photography