Annual Regatta Raises Nearly 200,000 for Hospice Care

Former Alive chaplain, Gene Lovelace, founded the Annual O. L. Shultz Open Regatta in 2014 as a way to increase awareness of Alive’s mission-based services and to pay homage to a friend and fellow sailor, O. L. Shultz, who was in the care of Alive when he died.

Since it began, the regatta has raised $180,468.93 for Alive. This year, it raised roughly $12,000 in support of our services.

This special event occurs each spring and brings the sailing community together from all over the Southeast to remember loved ones and inspire others to think about their legacy. Families have it made it a part of their own tradition, returning each year to visit with friends and fly burgees (sail flags) in honor of loved ones who have died.

“Pay attention, embrace the mystery, and celebrate each and every moment” says Gene, who served in his role at Alive for more than 20 years. Even in his retirement, he remains dedicated to helping Alive further its mission in the community. Gene continues to organize this benefit each year, as part of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, with the help of friends and the Harbor Island Yacht Club, where he is a member.

“There’s something beautiful, pure, and simple about the work of hospice,” says Dr. Bruce Richards, who helps organize the event and received the first-ever National Service Award associated with hospice regattas.

Inspired by Alive’s founders and mission, he became an advocate years ago and continues to diligently inform his many patients about the benefits of advance care planning and hospice for patients and families.

The tagline for the regatta, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails,” reminds us that even in the most challenging circumstances we can adjust and continue onward. It’s a fitting sentiment for our work.

Alive is incredibly grateful to Gene and the entire regatta community for their ongoing support.