Every morning I walk along the seawall and enjoy a few moments of contemplation before another busy day begins. There’s something about the sea air and waves that heals!

This combination of the beauty of our island and the power of the sea is one reason why I was so proud to be a part of the recent Disco on the Dock gala that was hosted by the Sea Star Base.

The gala was in my honor and I was proud to see it was a completely sold-out event. It also was a fundraiser for the Sea Star Base’s youth, community and adaptive sailing programs, which are a wonderful series of programs that help introduce many different types of people to the healing power of sailing and the sea.

Disco on the Dock was a wonderful night that recaptured all the fun of the legendary nightclub Studio 54. There was dancing, dinner, cocktails and a silent auction and we all had an absolute blast! People danced the night away with The Hustle being a dance floor highlight for many. It was so great to see so many clients, colleagues and friends in their 1970s finery.

More than a few guests told me Disco on the Dock was one of the best parties they had been to in years. Many more welcomed the opportunity to share memories of their own times at Studio 54 and other fantastic ‘70s clubs, parties and concerts.

Best of all the event raised $50,000 for the Sea Star Base’s youth, community and adaptive sailing programs. The adaptive sailing programs are especially noteworthy as they provide amazing opportunities for wounded veterans and other people with disabilities to learn to sail. This improves not only physical fitness, but also self-confidence as it brings the joy of team work and achievement to those who participate.

The adaptive program is a real success story that all of us here on Galveston Island can be proud of. It involves physical and occupational therapists from the University of Texas Medical Branch, who help train the disabled athletes who come from local hospitals, as well as veteran outreach programs. The participants learn to sail for pleasure and some compete in national competitions. It’s no wonder the program was voted “Best in the Nation” by U.S. Sailing in 2015.

At the Disco on the Dock gala event there was an opportunity for stories from the disabled athletes in the adaptive sailing program to be shared with all the partygoers. It was heartwarming to hear just what a difference this program makes. If you haven’t visited their website (www.ssbgalveston.org) please check it out.

Galveston is a great town and it always makes me proud to live here when I see the wonderful work of organizations such as the Sea Star Base who share our beautiful Island waterways with others to improve their lifestyle. As I always say — “Those of us lucky enough to live by the sea; are lucky enough!”

Tom Schwenk lives in Galveston.

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