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Why I Care - Patti Santelle

Patti Santelle is Managing Partner of the firm. Her bio is available here

C. Wallace Stuard Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May Sailing Foundation

I am President of the C. Wallace Stuard Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May Sailing Foundation, named after a well-known sailor who would personally collect money to help junior sailors defray the costs of traveling to compete in national and international sailing events. Our foundation also continued a practice, started by the late brother of White and Williams bankruptcy Counsel Joe Gibbons, to fund scholarships for kids who were living at the Coast Guard base in Cape May, who did not know how to sail, but got to spend their summers taking sailing lessons at the adjacent Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May. By incorporating as a 501(c)(3), we were able to raise funds eligible for tax deductions for both purposes, as well as expand our grants and scholarships to qualified members of the local school system and local scouting organizations to learn to sail and also to the new local high school sailing team to purchase much needed equipment to compete.

I got involved because the principal purpose was to teach kids who might never be exposed to sailing (or any boating for that matter) to learn how to sail and how to navigate waters. It was particularly important that they have the opportunity to develop these skills given that they live at the shore, where they are surrounded by water and, in many instances, they are in families of Coast Guard members who spend much of their time and career out on the water. 

Whether our scholarship recipients ever race sailboats or even stay involved in sailing is not essential to me in fulfilling our goals/purpose – it is that we introduce them to a sport that develops invaluable skills, shows them how to work as a team and has the added bonus of being on the water. Some scholarship kids have gone on to become instructors in the very program where they were students – others have gone on to sail in college. A prior recipient of our travel scholarships is currently attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where, as a freshman, he competed on the varsity sailing team.

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