Monday, September 15, 2008

The Flip Flop Regatta

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing a big fundraiser for The ALLY Foundation. The ALLY Foundation was established in memory of Alexandra Nicole Zapp, who was murdered by a repeat sex offender on July 18, 2002. The Foundation, founded and run by Ally’s mother and stepfather, has a mission to prevent opportunities for violent sex offenses, to educate the public and advocate for necessary changes in culture, attitude and policy. For the past six years, her friends and family have celebrated Ally's life and raised money for her cause by combining some of the things she loved - sailing, celebrations, and flip flops. The result has been the Flip Flop Regatta.

I wasn't able to actually photograph the race that weekend, but I did get to shoot the Mount Gay Rum Tent Parties on both Friday and Saturday nights. Both events were so fun, and I'm so blessed to have been a part of it!

Friday night's party got off to a very, very wet start...

But the The Cocabanana Band was great and helped keep everyone's spirits up, and feet moving!

The event chairs, John Ricci and Koryn Okey (formerly of Boston Weddings Magazine)

Ally's mother Andrea, step-father Steven, and sister with a friend at the party on Friday night. Andrea and Steven were two of the nicest people I've ever met. It's really amazing what they've done with this tragedy in their lives, and the hope they've been able to see through it all.

Me and Koryn at the end of the night :)

Saturday turned out to be a PERFECT day for sailing!! Not a drop of rain, and plenty of wind and sunshine.

After the race, everyone came back to the Tent Party for some more fun, as well as a silent auction. There were some amazing items up for bidding!

There was also some delicious food & drinks provided by PapaRazzi, Hot Tomatoes, and SoulFire.

Saturday night's festivities included a brief address from ALLY Foundation founder, Andrea Cassanova. There was a lot of excitement about the event...

...and a lot of emotion. The regatta is a fun time and an exciting opportunity to raise money for a great organization. But for those who knew and loved Ally, it's also a reminder of why they're doing this in the first place.

One of the winning teams from Saturday's race

And on to some fun from the dance floor!

I ran into my friend Tiffany, of Alternate Angles, that afternoon. She was having a blast!

The dance floor was rockin' all night long - thanks to the awesome band that night, Infractions!

A final shot of Steven & Andrea

And the view from the pier on Saturday night... amazing!!

Thank you, Koryn and Andrea and Steven, for inviting me to be a part of this event! Thank you for making me feel so welcome and so appreciated. And a special thanks to the sponsors of the Flip Flop Regatta: Mount Gay Rum, Vineyard Vines, Sperry, Atlantis, US Sailing, CleanHarbors, Island Issue, SmartWater, Long's, Fairmont Copley Plaza, and Papa Razzi. This was a great event, and they couldn't have done it without your help!

It was a fabulous weekend, and I'm so glad I could contribute to such a great cause! If you'd like to learn more about The ALLY Foundation, or make a contribution, please click here!

If you'd like to see more of the photos, click here.

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