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I am pleased to announce that the proceeds of the 2013 Toronto Area Hospice Regatta will go to the Dorothy Ley Hospice. The Dorothy Ley Hospice is a volunteer-based community service organization offering compassionate care to people living with the challenges of a life-limiting illness or loss. The goal of the hospice is to provide comfort and help to individuals so they can live every day to the fullest with dignity, meaning and hope. All of the services are offered at no cost to the individual thanks to the generosity of donors, government funding and the support of community partners.

The programs and services meet a variety of support needs for individuals, families and care providers. Any individual facing the challenges of a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or medical condition, can access hospice support. The Dorothy Ley Hospice has two key programs — a community program and a residential program. Services offered through the community program are available from the time of diagnosis of a life limiting illness. The residential program is available to people who have three months or less to live.

Earlier this month, many of us learned that Perram House, the local hospice that the Toronto Area Hospice Regatta has raised funds for over the past five years, could not reach a satisfactory settlement with its recently unionized labor force. As a result, Perram House was unable to secure funding required from the Ontario government needed to meet its 2013 operating budget. Sadly, Perram House closed its doors at this time. Since 2007, we have all contributed in our own way to assist in the transition of individuals from this life to the next. Nothing can ever take away from the contribution that our sailing community has made to Perram House and to the lives of the individuals who spent their final days there.

Palliative care will become an increasingly topical discussion for all of us over the next decade as our parents and friends age and as our hospital system becomes more taxed and less able to deal with end of life requirements. Hospices will become even more important to fill this gap. Recognizing the continued and increasing need for hospice care and the importance of charitable contributions needed to operate a hospice, we are committed to holding the 2013 Toronto Area Hospice Regatta and donating the proceeds to the Dorothy Ley Hospice.

The purpose of this regatta has always been two-fold: to build awareness of and raise money for this important and often overlooked area of our healthcare system; and to hold a high quality competitive One Design Regatta on the Toronto waterfront. These two primary directives remain intact.

The regatta will be held in the same spirit as in the past, on June 15-16, 2013 and we look forward to seeing you there. Registration will open soon. For more information please visit www.tahr.ca

Sincerely, Richard Reid
Honorary Chair
2013 Toronto Area Hospice Regatta