Now accepting applications! Florida June 9-15 & Rhode Island 28 July - 3 Aug.
Our burgee we fly in honor of our fallen heroes and to pay tribute to our Gold Star Families. The Gold Star represents service members who gave their last full measure of service for our country and for the liberties and freedoms we so richly enjoy.
Gold Star Sailing began in 2012. The vision was to create a week-long summer camp just for high school age Gold Star teenagers with a focus on team building, character development, leadership, and healing through a hands-on sailing adventure. At GSS campers meet other Gold Star teenagers and share adventures together. During camp, strong bonds are made, friendships forged, and healing happens naturally.
Campers are introduced to the amazing world of sailing. Campers stay on shore, receive instruction on the water, and enjoy land based adventures every day. Campers participate in a variety of unique activities where they are pushed out of their comfort zone. Many campers have told us that what makes Gold Star Sailing unique, is that we let them be kids and have fun. We are not a grief camp. The campers are encouraged to try new challenges to instill self-confidence and build resiliency in order to prepare them for college and life.
Colonel (Retired) Patrick Powers served over 25 years in U.S. Army Special Operations as a Green Beret. He served tours in Korea, Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was introduced to sailing as a child and was hooked. He began racing in 2001. In 2012 he designed Gold Star Sailing to be a special program uniquely designed for Gold Star teenagers with a focus on leadership, teamwork, and adventure. He discovered that great healing happened through this Gold Star Sailing camps. Patrick is a career “Green Beret,” Master SCUBA Diver, close quarters combat expert, and the recipient of four Bronze Star Medals. Additionally, he is the father of two sailing children.
Todd Yannuzzi is a retired Managing Director and Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley in New York where he ran the Fifth Avenue Group. Todd spent over 30 years at his Firm and has been recognized for excellence in his filed by Barron's, Forbes and the Financial Times. Todd believes strongly in giving back to his community and particularly organizations who serve a critical and unique purpose like Gold Star Sailing. He is an active mentor at Morgan Stanley, a long-standing volunteer ambulance driver, a Lake Warden in Tuxedo Park and has served on school and hospital boards. Todd has also supported and raised money for The USO, The Christopher Reeve Foundations and the Village School of Waldwick, N.J. Todd is a lifelong lover of all things water related (above and below the surface) since earning his USCG junior operators license at age 15 and his SCUBA accreditation shortly after. He and his wife have four children ages 16-25.
Vice Admiral P. Gardner Howe III retired from the U.S. Navy in 2019 after a 35-year career in the Naval Special Warfare and joint Special Operations communities. A passionate sailor, he is now focused on bringing the educational, personal and leader development opportunities found in sailing and sail training to people of all ages. He and his wife Erin reside in Newport, Rhode Island.
Krista Simpson Anderson is the proud wife of an active duty Green Beret, mother of two young boys, and Gold Star Spouse of SSG Michael H. Simpson. Krista is driven to bring healthy healing to her children as well as other Gold Star and surviving families. Krista is the founder of The Unquiet Professional, the Surviving Family Liaison for the Green Beret Foundation, as well as an Advisor on the U.S. Army Survivor Advisory Working Group. Krista was named the 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year and the 2019 Green Beret Foundation "Keeper of the Brave" for the work she continues to do in our communities. "It is my greatest mission to advocate for and nurture teh journeys for our nation's Gold Star and Surviving children. The Gold Star Sailing program encourages LIFE, leadership and fellowship with other children who understand their journey and and facilitators who respect their family's sacrifice."
John has over 30 years of Federal Government service. A U.S. Navy veteran and National Security expert, John currently holds a Senior Executive Service position within the U.S. Intelligence Community. In his 25+ years as an attorney, John has advised and guided the operations of government entities, large and small corporations, private organizations, and nonprofits. John brings his vast Counsel experience to the GSS Board along with a personal passion for the GSS mission.
Patrick Powers serves as the Director of Gold Star Sailing. He founded the Gold Star Sail Camp in 2012. Colonel (Retired) Patrick Powers served over 25 years in Special Operations. He served tours in Korea, Bosnia, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was introduced to sailing as a child and was hooked. He began racing in 2001. In 2012 he designed Gold Star Sailing to be a special program uniquely designed for Gold Star teenagers with a focus on leadership, teamwork, and adventure. He discovered that great healing happened through this Gold Star Sailing camps. Patrick is a career “Green Beret,” Master SCUBA Diver, close quarters combat expert, and the recipient of four Bronze Star Medals. Today, Patrick lives with his wife in Annapolis, MD. Additionally, he is the father of two sailing children.
Wes Marshall has been an avid sailor for thirty years. He has over 8,000 miles of ocean and blue water racing and cruising experience. He has raced large and small boats in the eastern US for many years with a focus on one-design keelboats. Wes has youth counseling experience with after school enrichment programs, the Boy Scouts of America, coaching lacrosse, the All-American Soap Box Derby, and the Gold Star Teen Sailing Adventure. He holds numerous outdoor certifications including USCG certified Captain, and Wilderness First Aid. Professionally, Wes worked as a trial lawyer until 2012 when he was appointed to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Patricia A. O'Donnell is a life-long competitive sailor, starting as a child in Larchmont, NY. She has raced dinghies, one-design keelboats and racer/cruisers in team, "around the buoy" and long-distance races nationally and internationally. While she still competes when she can, she's now more active in regatta management, including race committee, primarily in her home waters around Newport. She is a World Sailing International Judge. She was a US SAILING certified National Umpire for many years.
Patricia is a member of Larchmont (NY) Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis YC (Newport, RI) and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Off the water, Patricia is a Supervisor Analyst with Morgan Stanley & Co.'s Asia Pacific Equity Research Department.
Her involvement in Gold Star Sailing honors her late father, LCDR James J. O'Donnell (USN), and acknowledges the healing and opportunities sailing has provided to her and her Gold Star mother and sisters over the decades.
BG Ret. Keene was and continues to be an instrumental and key Gold Star Sailing ke leader. BG Ret. Keene most recently served as the Assistant to the Vice Commander, United States Special Operations Command, before retiring in January 2014. Responsible for representing the command to the Joint Staff, Service Staffs, Office of the Secretary of Defense and other governmental agencies in the National Capitol Region. BG (ret), Keene enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1971 and was commissioned in the Army National Guard commissioned in 1985. He commanded units at every grade level and deployed several times from 2004 – 2014 for Special Operations missions in the Horn of Africa, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command South and Colombia. He actively supports several charities including Give to the World, The Gold Star Sailing and the North Smithfield High School Class of 1971 Scholarship Fund.
Jill is a Marketing Officer for Internet and Mobile communications at Amica Mutual Insurance Company. She is valued member of the GSS leadership team. She is an accomplished, results-driven insurance technology leader with demonstrated success in the design and delivery of systems for use by internal staff, and external facing web and mobile applications for customers. She has expertise in driving organizational change and technology innovation along with her track record of implementations that improve performance, decrease operational expenses and promote corporate growth. She has a proven ability to lead and motivate teams, with a focus on maximizing productivity.
Norm is a retired US Army Green beret who began his 30-year military career serving in Vietnam with the US Marines. Norm is a Wounded Warrior (twice) himself. Norm is a Past Commodore of the Newport Yacht Club in Rhode Island, a key sponsor of the Gold Star Sailing on multiple levels. He is a member of the Royal Western Yacht Club of England and the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Norm has race several times in the Bermuda One/Two. He is on the organizing committee for both the single and double handed transatlantic sailboat race (Ostar and Two Star). When Norm isn’t sailing he is a volunteer varsity football coach with a local high school here in RI. He is also a retired Civil Engineer.