Nonprofit organization, Sailing Heals, docked at Officine Panerai’s flagship Bal Harbour boutique yesterday evening to kick off the luxury watchmaker’s annual sponsorship of the event’s 2015 sailing season. The signature experience aims to leverage the healing power of the water, treating patients suffering from various ailments –as well as their families and/or caregivers- to a therapeutic day at sea.
“Tonight is an opportunity to celebrate the founding sponsorship we started four years ago with Sailing Heals, which is another expression of how we link our passion to the sea,” fondly remarks Rafael Alvarez, President of Panerai North America, about not only the brand’s osmosis into this philantrophic leg, but of its nautical heritage that navigates its endeavors both on and off land.
The brand first integrated itself into the lifestyle, sponsoring regattas with circuits dedicated exclusively to vintage and classic vessels as of way of sharing the brand’s values with the public. This naturally charted the charity’s inception in 2011, which represents the brand’s enduring commitment to the art of sailing while giving back to the community that helps keep it afloat.
“It’s a way for us to involve local communities and basically give back to the locations where we are organizing our regattas or locations where we think would make sense to develop this kind of partnership with local institutions or local hospitals,” explains Alvarez.
The highlight of the evening was when a check honoring of Haute Living Publisher & CEO Kamal Hotchandani, a founding member who came on board to bring its legacy to other parts of the country, was donated by Panerai.
Ambassadors and notable names came out to champion the cause and honor its efforts, among which included Raul De Molina from El Gordo y La Flaca and Michelle and Trisha Gallagher, who collectively serve the compass for the organization’s charitable efforts.