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ODU Sailors Host Annual Sailapalooza for Charity

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: September 15, 2008
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Sept. 15, 2008

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion University sailing team hosts its annual Sailapalooza this Saturday, September 20 starting at 10:00 am. The day includes free and open to the public sailing lessons and excursions as well as a donation drive for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization based in Norfolk supporting better healthcare for children in third world countries. The ODU coaches and sailors offer a free sail for donations, including financial or "Smile Bag" supplies. All proceeds will go to Operation Smile to help with their mission.

Head coach Mitch Brindley, president of the InterCollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) leads the Monarchs sailing team for his 13th season. The 2008-09 sailing team boasts some of the most talented sailors in the country, giving Sailapalooza participants a unique opportunity to learn from the best free of charge. Junior Katrina Williams is a two-time ICSA Singlehanded National qualifier, as well as a Women's Dinghy Qualifier. Sophomores Stephanie Roble and Morgan Wilson are also national qualifiers, as are seniors Alissa Ayres and Jaclyn Finney. On the men's side, seniors Gillen Elder and Michael Brown have been sailing nearly their whole lives.

The sailing team is using Sailapalooza as a fundraiser for Operation Smile, www.Operationsmile.org. The team members will be collecting financial contributions, travel-size toiletry items, and small stuffed (like beanie babies) for "smile bags" for Operation Smile. "Smile bags" are distributed to the young patients after surgery.

Sailaplooza is a public sailing outreach supported by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association to utilize College Sailing teams, facilities, and collegiate energy to introduce as many people to the lifetime sport of sailing as possible. In the process, teams hope to build campus awareness for the sailing team, foster community and campus relations.

The Old Dominion University Sailing team will again be using Sailapalooza as a fundraiser for Operation Smile. Operation Smile is a Norfolk, VA based non-profit organization that repairs childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families. "Together, we create smiles, change lives, heal humanity" (Operation Smile's Mission).

The Sailapalooza will be on Saturday from 10:00 am to Sunset at the ODU Sailing Center located off of Powhatan Avenue next door to Whitehurst Dormitory. The team will be taking people sailing in their fleet of collegiate sailing dinghies. Experienced and qualified sailors may sail a boat solo. Come down for a free sail with a small donation to Operation Smile. All proceeds will go to Operation Smile to help with their mission. A donation is not required. Life jackets will be provided; participants should wear shoes and shorts/bathing suit that may get wet.

Please come and support the cause to help kids in third world countries enjoy their life.

For more information contact Liz Bower, Assistant Sailing Coach at ebower@odu.edu or call 757 683 3387. www.odusports.com.

More information on Operation Smile Bags:
Operation Smile Bags

Upon completion of their surgery, each child receives a "Smile Bag" that is filled with small sized personal care items. These bags should be 12 inches wide by 14 inches deep (to fit a coloring book). The bags should have a drawstring placed so that they are filled from the top. PLEASE BRING THEM EMPTY - EVEN IF YOU ARE ALSO PROVIDING THE SUPPLIES FOR THEM. Operation Smile has a full-time volunteer staff that fills the smile bags which ensures that each child on the same mission receives the same items. For reporting purposes, GFWC has valued empty bags at $2.00. Bags and supplies are valued at $10.00 - $15.00 per bag.

Each Smile Bag contains the following items:

.85 to 1.4 oz shampoo (screw on top only)		a small stuffed animal (beanie baby size)
a small comb (no rat tails)				a small mirror
a new wash cloth 					a sample size toothpaste
a child size toothbrush				a hotel size bar of soap
an 8 pack of crayons					a small toy
a thin coloring book

Bigger is Not Better
All items we request are the small, travel size for one simple reason--we need to pack 50 smile bags into a box. Large personal hygiene items take up more room.

Keep It Simple
Personal hygiene items such as dental floss, lotion, and baby oil are wonderful items, however, are not included in our smile bags. Remember--we have limited space in our boxes. Any kind of food product, like candy and gum, is not packed for Operation Smile missions. International shipping prohibits sending food items across international borders. These items could cause all of are medical equipment and supplies to quarantined in the customs office. Keep in mind as well that hand-made bean bags can not contain real beans.

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