The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (HIOBS) has been changing lives through challenge and discovery since 1964, when it was established on the coast of Maine as the first sea-based Outward Bound school in the U.S, and now runs sailing, backpacking and canoeing courses in Maine and Florida for students ages 14+. On Aug. 22 a group of 400 current and former staff, board members, students and other Hurricane Island Outward Bound School supporters attended the school’s 50th Anniversary Bash dinner and art auction at Point Lookout Resort in Lincolnville followed by a day and night on Hurricane Island.
The Point Lookout events began with a silent art auction which was endorsed by renowned art critic and writer Carl Little and featured artwork from more than 30 notable artists with ties to Maine and HIOBS. The night continued with opening remarks by Senator George Mitchell and a keynote address over dinner by Phil Powers, Executive Director of the American Alpine Club. After the live auction portion of the evening, HIOBS paid an emotional tribute to founder Peter O. Willauer. The next day on Hurricane Island was filled with friends, food, laughter and dancing. People who hadn’t seen each other in years tightly embraced and recounted their HIOBS memories. Many attendees stayed overnight in tents and some even participated in the traditional morning dip off the pier. Leaving the island was just as emotional as the arrival, with HIOBS supporters scattering back across the US and the globe. The weekend resulted in over $180,000 raised for the School.
In honor of their 50th Anniversary, the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School would also like to announce a $50,000 matching challenge grant for the School’s Student Opportunity Fund, a part of the overall HIOBS scholarship program that ensures no student is turned away from an Outward Bound experience due to an inability to pay tuition.
At the August event, Executive Director Eric Denny announced, “I’d like to announce that through the generosity of two anonymous donors, we have $50,000 in scholarship money on the table. One donation has been pledged in recognition of the Cabot family and for all the support they’ve given in the 50 years of the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. The other donation was pledged in recognition of John Cushing and Victoria Woodhull and for service to the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School.”
Since becoming an independent, Maine-based organization again in 2012, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School has committed $300,000 of its own operating budget to support scholarship and financial aid requests for enrolled students. Alongside partnering organizations, students across all HIOBS programs received more than $600,000 in scholarship support in 2014. Nearly one-third of HIOBS students would be unable to enroll on a course without financial aid.