It wasn’t enough to hold a simple point-to-point competition, though. Organizers wanted to do some good for the community while celebrating the milestone. They set up a handicap system for the regatta based on fundraising: For every $1 raised, a team would have 30 seconds subtracted from their finish time. All proceeds were donated to the National Kidney Foundation, a close-to-home cause for many Smith Lake sailors: In 2015, while filming an interview about the anniversary events, a former station employee murdered two local journalists on-air. The director of the SML Chamber of Commerce was also shot and survived , but suffered several injuries including the loss of one
kidney. “In addition, we preferred a national
organization that would have a broad geographic appeal for donors,” says BYRA Fleet Captain Pete Phillips. Participants were each able to create a custom fundraising page and link to share with potential contributors.