More than 300 of the marine and sailing industryâ€™s leaders gathered on Friday, October 8 to pay tribute to Frank Butler of Catalina Yachts at the Lowes Hotel in Annapolis during the United States Sailboat Show.
Butler, whose boatbuilding career spans nearly five decades including the manufacturing of more than 75,000 vessels, was on hand to be honored at this prestigious event hosted by Blue Water Sailing, Cruising World and SAIL magazines and coordinated by Affinity Marketing & Communications in cooperation with well known industry veterans Ron Frisosky of Catalina Yachts and Tom Casey of Blue Water Sailing magazine, the latter of whom served as master of ceremonies.
â€œThis was probably the easiest fundraiser Iâ€™ve ever done,â€ said Frisosky. â€It was a very special night for Frank and his family, many of whom flew in from California to participate in the event. It will go down as the most memorable moment of my 44 years in the industry.â€
“Nights like this are far too rare,” added Ed Massey, founder of Massey Enterprises and Floridaâ€™s largest Catalina dealer. “The evening was special because a marine industry giant was recognized and revered. It was also special because the sailing industry came together not only in the spirit of celebration, but also in a bond of steadfast perseverance.”
Proceeds from the event were donated to the National Sailing Hall of Fame & Sailing Education Center. Thanks to contributions provided by The Moorings, Haile Capital Group, Catalina Yachts, A.G.A. Correa and North Sails Gear, a total of $6,450 was collected through the silent auction alone.
“This evening was one of the best moments in the marine industry in years,” said Bob Bitchin, publisher of Latitudes & Attitudes magazine. “The camaraderie was palpable, and the family feeling in the room was unbelievable.”
Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine directed and produced a filming of the event gratis, which will be available soon.
Entertainment included a plethora of colorful and hilarious speakers’ quips “roasting” the legendary “man of the hour.”