The Woodmere Bay Yacht Club in East Rockaway hosted a dinner last weekend for the captains, crews, and supporters of the Patrick O’Keefe Foundation’s Spirit Rider Regatta, held off the Long Beach coast on Sept. 6.
The regatta is an ocean sailing race held in memory of Firefighter Patrick J. O’Keefe a member of the FDNY’s Rescue Company One in Manhattan who died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
O’Keefe, the second-youngest of Anne and Patrick O’Keefe’s five children, attended St. Raymond’s Catholic School and East Rockaway High School. He died at age 44, leaving behind a wife and two children.
Each September, sailors from all over the country gather off the South Shore to honor those lost on 9/11. The race participants include not only local seasoned and amateur sailors, but such college teams as the U. S. Naval Academy, the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, Fordham University and Georgetown University sailing teams.
The event is dedicated to O’Keefe and all those who died on 9/11, as well as those who continue to serve in the line of duty.
Proceeds benefit a scholarship that will provide assistance to dedicated young people who are facing the challenges of starting over in life.