Lake Norman Magazine

Sailing to support a cause

A scene from the Lake Norman Hospice Regatta held at Lake Norman Yacht Club.
A scene from the Lake Norman Hospice Regatta held at Lake Norman Yacht Club. Richard Rudisill

At this month’s Lake Norman Hospice Regatta, some entrants will be sailors participating just for fun. Others will be competitive. And some will be there in memory of a loved one who benefited from the namesake cause.Among that last group is Alan Cleeland, whose mother, Anita Brewer, succumbed to lung cancer while in Hospice’s care. He’s been sailing in the annual regatta since 2006. “It’s almost always a great time on the water, assuming we have wind!” he says.Cleeland started sailing on a small lake with his buddies when he was 13. After spending most summers of his youth on the water, he continued to sail throughout his life whenever time permitted. The addition of his four children slowed his nautical adventures, but soon he introduced them all to the sport. And now he and his three sons, Kell, Craig and Clay, enjoy sailing in Brewer's honor each year.“Hospice adds dignity to the passing of our loved ones in a wonderful, serene setting. It also helps loved ones surround the individual with love and attention, and provides an understanding of death,” he says.

Helping to raise awareness

The annual regattas to raise money for Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman have been held on the lake since 2001, when it was the first open regatta ever held on Lake Norman to benefit a non-racing, not-for-profit organization. Hospice aims to improve the quality of life for those with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. The medical care provides treatment and support for people with a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less. It allows patients to live the remainder of their lives pain-free and at ease. The Hospice Regatta and its accompanying Lake Norman Hospice Regatta Party serve as fundraisers and ways to raise awareness. The money raised allows the organization to provide programs and services to anyone in need, regardless of their diagnosis or ability to pay. It also allows Hospice to provide grief support and community education free of charge.The overall winner of the race will participate in the Hospice Regatta National Championship in 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event, which is part of the National Hospice Regatta Alliance, is supported by all of the yacht clubs on the lake including the Lake Norman Yacht Club, The Outrigger Yacht Club and the Peninsula Yacht Club. The members of these clubs serve on the race committee, help run the regatta and host various events throughout the weekend.So whether you are donating directly to the cause or supporting a sailor, there is no better way to assist the families and patients in need of hospice. For more information about hospice, visit

More: See our Editor's note.

Want to go?What: 2011 Lake Norman Hospice Regatta PartyWhen: May 13, 6:30-11 p.m.Where: Peninsula Club, Cornelius.Tickets: $85 includes dinner buffet, music, entertainment and cash bar. Live and silent auctions also featured.More info: or e-mail Nancy Cole at

What: Lake Norman Hospice RegattaWhen: May 20, 5-8 p.m.; May 21, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; May 22, 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.Where: Lake Norman Yacht Club, 297 Yacht Road, Mooresville.Fees: Before May 13, registration is $50 per adult boat and $15 per junior boat. After May 13, registration is $70 per adult boat and $20 per junior boat.

More info:, or contact Emily Jones at