Wilmette, Community

Fundraising regatta brings in thousands of dollars for children’s charities

It takes a village, and in that spirit, Wilmette has raised a two-year-old fundraiser into a waterfront success.

A number of Wilmette groups and individuals aided in the Wilmette Foundation for Children’s Charities second charity regatta on Saturday, Aug. 28, in the Wilmette Harbor.

Funds from race entries, event tickets and donations support Chicagoland youth by going to organizations like Lurie’s Chidlren’s Hospital, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, All Kids Play and Sheridan Shores Sailing School.

The event received kayaks from Northwest Passage, instruction from Sheridan Shore Sailing School, space from the Wilmette Harbor Club, food from Al’s Meat Market and Torino Ramen, and entertainment from Chris Karabas, of Wilmette, among other gifts and partnerships.

“The whole idea is about the community — pulling the community together and supporting some of these children’s charities,” said Chris Hart, the Wilmette Foundation for Children’s Charities in 2019. “We have a great facility down there (in the Sheridan Shores Sailing School) to help us do that. How much work they do for underprivileged kids is pretty remarkable.”

The regatta featured three flights of two-person kayaks with the top finishers advancing to a championship race. Brock Blazo and Dan Poehling emerged victorious and for their efforts, the pair helped decide where to allocate the funds.

The kayaks are off to the races in the second WFCC Regatta.

After the races, close to 200 people celebrated on the lakefront with a pig roast and live music, as well as libations from local brewery Cruz Blanca, Hart said. 

The fundraiser has collected more than $10,000 so far and is still bringing in final gifts. To donate to the cause, visit the Wilmette Foundation for Children’s Charities website.


The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan local-news site that is funded by the community. Our public-service work is free to read.

To support responsible community news, please consider becoming a subscriber.

Already subscribe? You can make a donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

Related Stories