LIFE OF ITS OWN: This year’s Heaven Can Wait regatta raised $35,000, which was donated to the Hunter branch of the Cancer Council of NSW.LAKE Macquarie MP Greg Piper has publicly praised a charity sailing event that is heldannually in his electorate.
In parliament last month, Mr Piper spoke on theHeaven Can Wait charity regatta, which for 10 years has been organised and hosted bythe Royal Motor Yacht Club in Toronto.
“Our community is blessed with people who just dig in when the chips are down and do the things that create the sort of community we feel proud to be a part of,” Mr Piper said.
“An example of such people is those associated with an event called Heaven Can Wait, an annual sailing regatta on our lake, which is not just a wondrous display of human spirit but also a fascinating display of human endurance.”
The idea for Heaven Can Wait was conceived by Lake Macquariesailor Shaun Lewicki, who had previously battled cancer.
Mr Lewickiinitially established the event to promote sailing, shine a spotlight on the region’s aquatic assets and to raise some funds for cancer research along the way.
The event took on alife of its own and has now raised about a $250,000 for cancer-related charities including the Domestic Support Services Program run by the Hunter branch of the Cancer Council.
The regatta is held as part of Lakefest, which this year raised $50,000 for charities.Mel Steiner, vice commodore of Toronto’s Royal Motor Yacht Club and Heaven Can Wait committee chair, andMr Lewicki donated$35,000 of money raised this yearto the Hunter branch of the Cancer Council of NSW.
Speaking about the number of yachts that took part in February’s regatta, about 70,Mr Piper took the opportunity to raise the issue of access to theSwansea Channel.
“There is no doubt that uncertainty around the ability to access Swansea Channel would impact on the number of yachts willing to visit Lake Macquarie to participate,” Mr Piper said.
“This issue is commonly raised with me,but it is a side issue that cannot overshadow the wonderful Heaven Can Wait regatta.”
Mr Piper thanked organisers of the Heaven Can Wait charity regatta.
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