Annual ‘Figawi Gives Back’ Event Continues to Donate to Local Charities

Figawi Gives Back recipients

HYANNIS – Organizers of the extremely popular Figawi Race kicked off another “Figawi Gives Back” event at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis on Wednesday night.

The annual event calls for a celebration of the donations from Figawi to local community organizations, a cause that Figawi has seen over $2 million donated.

“Figawi Charities on an annual basis lines a lot of our beneficiaries of the money that we give away. We like to do it in a style where everybody gets together and they can enjoy who we are with our board,” said Figawi President Leo Fein.

Like every year, the event is a night of fun as the benefitting organizations and Figawi organizers enjoy food and drinks with live music while the donations are presented.

Figawi Charity Ball Chairman and member of the race’s Board of Directors Chris Kelsey says the charity event “is about giving back.”

“Every year Figawi Charities throughout the year raises money for local organizations on the Cape and Islands. Tonight is our chance to actually give those donations to the people that are the actual recipients,” Kelsey explained.

Fein adds that all of the money in the 32 years that Figawi has been giving to charitable organizations, all of it has stayed on the Cape and Islands.

“We’ve been doing this for 32 years and consequently yes, we make sure the money stays on Cape Cod. People submit applications to us and we have a committee that reviews the applications and we select who we believe is the worthy people of this year,” Fein said.

Kelsey says that some of the organizations being recognized with larger grants this year include Holidays for Heroes, Cape and Islands EMS and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Cape and Islands. He says Big Brothers and Big Sisters is receiving their donation in the name of slain Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon.

This year, the event also featured special guest speaker Tom Duggan. Duggan is an International Race Officer and Umpire whose officiated at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the Sailing World Cup in Japan, and most recently the 2018 Sailing World Championships in Denmark. He also serves as the Chair of the World Sailing Race Management Subcommittee and is a longtime member of both the U.S. Sailing Race Management Committee.

The Figawi Race was founded in 1987 as a glamorous ball and celebrity sailboat race with a mission to give back to the community.

By TIM DUNN, News Center

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