Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Annual Lighted Boat Parade

The 13th annual Yaquina Bay Lighted Boat Parade is set for 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in Newport. The event is part of the annual "Festival of Trees" series of events held to benefit the Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation, which supports programs and activities at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. All mariners are invited to enter the contest and compete for an array of prizes. Numerous charter vessel companies along the Newport Bayfront, including Marine Discovery Tours, Newport Tradewinds, and Yaquina Bay Charters, offer passage on boats participating in the parade and will donate the ticket receipts to the Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation."We have a beautiful, protected bay for evening harbor lights and we have boats in this county - from pleasure craft and sailboats to charter and fishing vessels," commented Don Mathews, who owns and operates Marine Discovery Tours with his wife, Fran. The Mathews were involved with the original organization of the lighted boat parade, and they spearheaded the addition of prizes to the contest this year. "Captains and crews love to work as a team, whether it's the family boat or a high-lining fishing crew, so this seemed like a fun idea," Don said. "The local business community has responded to this idea with a generous showing of donations." The grand prize is a hunting rifle provided by Oregon Coast Bank. Other prizes include gift certificates for lodging and dining, marine hardware, and other goods and services contributed by members of the community. Prizes will be awarded following the parade. "This is a fun way to launch this festive season of fundraising joined together by people from all over the coastal community while we showcase our beautiful boats and the Bayfront neighborhood," said Fran.

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