Panerai and Haute Living Captain the Kickoff of the 2015 Sailing Heals Season

Rafael Alvarez, Connie Parraga and Kamal Hotchmandani
Rafael Alvarez, Connie Parraga and Kamal Hotchandani

Nonprofit organization, Sailing Heals, docked at Officine Panerai’s flagship Bal Harbour boutique yesterday evening to kick off the luxury watchmaker’s annual sponsorship of the event’s 2015 sailing season. The signature experience aims to leverage the healing power of the water, treating patients suffering from various ailments — as well as their families and/or caregivers — to a therapeutic day at sea.

Rafael Alvarez
Rafael Alvarez

“Tonight is an opportunity to celebrate the founding sponsorship we started four years ago with Sailing Heals, which is another expression of how we link our passion to the sea,” fondly remarks Rafael Alvarez, President of Panerai North America, about not only the brand’s osmosis into this philantrophic leg, but of its nautical heritage that navigates its endeavors both on and off land.

Connie Parraga, Michelle Gallagher, Neila Nobre
Connie Parraga, Camilla Gandino, Neila Nobre and Amanda Blackmon

The brand first integrated itself into the lifestyle, sponsoring regattas with circuits dedicated exclusively to vintage and classic vessels as of way of sharing its values with the public. This naturally charted the charity’s inception in 2011, which represents Panerai’s enduring commitment to the art of sailing, while giving back to the community that helps keep it afloat.

“It’s a way for us to involve local communities and basically give back to the locations where we are organizing our regattas or locations that we think would make sense to develop this kind of partnership with local institutions or hospitals,” explains Alvarez.

Luis Arevalo, Connie Parraga Raul De Molina
Luis Arevalo, Connie Parraga, Raul De Molina

The highlight of the evening was when a check honoring Haute Living Publisher & CEO, Kamal Hotchandani, a founding member who came on board to bring its legacy to other parts of the country, was donated by Panerai.

Julio Roque and Chris Bell
Julio Roque and Chris Bell

Ambassadors and notable names came out to champion the cause and honor its efforts, among which included Raul De Molina from El Gordo y La Flaca and Michele Gallagher and Trisha Boisvert, who collectively serve as the compass for the organization’s charitable efforts.