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What Are All Those People Doing in the Navy Yard?

Going to the 3rd annual Party on the Pier, set for Thursday night.

If you see hundreds of people flocking toward the Courageous Sailing pier tomorrow night in the Navy Yard looking supremely celebratory and summery, do not be alarmed. They're just on their way to the -- a major fundraising event for the Warren-Prescott's sailing program. 

The party is shaping up to be even bigger than last year's, where more than 500 people turned out for dinner, drinks, music and a fantastic view. Organizer John Strachan said he's anticipating as many as 1,000 guests. The 600 plus RSVPs on Facebook are a strong indication. 

Strachan is the one-man show behind the fundraiser. He's also the driving force behind the Warren-Prescott's sailing program, which has allowed 120 students from the public K through 8 school to learn how to sail in the harbor, as part of an after school program. The first public sailing program in the country, Strachan said.

"We're getting them out of their environment and out on the water," he said. "They're exposed to a totally different experience."

Strachan's own children, Cole, 8, and MacKenzie, 6, participate in the program through the Warren-Prescott. 

His personal experience as a young man sailing inspired him, in part, to launch the initiative. He grew up sailing on the cape, he said, and worked his way up to a position on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's boat. He was there the senator for 12 years in the Figawi Race. 

"I'm just trying to give back," he said. "When you get the kids out there early, you can see it doesn't matter if you come from a wealthy background or not. Where you're from doesn't matter."

Everyone is welcome at the Party on the Pier. Admission is $50 at the door. Food and drink will be provided by event sponsors, including Boston Beer Works, Bacardi, Upper Crust Pizzeria, the Navy Yard Bistro and JJ's Oyster Bar. Haven clothing design is also sponsoring the event.

Mark Morris and the Catunes are performing this year. And during all of this, there's also a regatta -- the biggest for Courageous Sailing. At 7:30 all 25 boats come racing into the pier. 

The party starts at 6 p.m. For more details, check out the event page on Facebook.  The event is rain or shine. There will be a tent on the pier in case of rain.

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