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Stonington - US Sailing, the sports national governing body, has named the New England Science & Sailing Foundation as its Outstanding Community Sailing Center for 2013. The award was presented to NESS officials at US Sailing's leadership forum in San Diego, Calif., last week.
The award is given annually to a sailing program that has made notable contributions to promote public access by demonstrating growth in program offerings, including partnerships, or community involvement and awareness, according to a statement from NESS.
"NESS has done an amazing job of introducing more and more students to the sport of sailing through innovative programming and partnerships, all while advancing community and environmental stewardship," said US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart.
"NESS is one of the few places in the country that combines a strong marine science foundation with the great sport of sailing," added Jessica Servis, US Sailing's REACH program manager.
NESS President Spike Lobdell said the award "is the direct result of the investment of our friends and donors, the hard work of our program staff, board, and educational partners whose support empowers us to make a difference in our community."
In 2013, an approximately 2,700 children participated in NESS's marine science and sailing programs. Of these, more than 900 were sponsored by scholarship gifts and grants for underserved regional school children. NESS is headquartered on Water Street in the borough.