Burlington, VT

Respite for Cancer, Inc., EIN 46-5040637 (501c3)
DBA HealingWindsVermont

802-673-SAIL (7245)

Operating Location

Burlington Community Boathouse
A Dock, Slip 2

Office/Mailing Address

Contact us by snail-mail here:

Healing Winds Vermont
240 Battery Street
Burlington, VT 05401



Healing Winds Vermont launched in 2014, with the donation of a 29 foot O’Day vessel dubbed “Jubilee”. For three sailing seasons Jubilee sailed out of Perkins Pier on the Burlington waterfront. In that short amount of time, she took over 530 guests sailing! As our demand quickly grew, so did our need for a larger vessel.

In May of 2017, Healing Winds retired Jubilee after the very generous donation, by an anonymous donor, of a 39 foot O’Day vessel, appropriately named “Gypsy Wind.”
With the support of our friends at the Burlington Parks, Recreations and Waterfront Department, “Gypsy Wind” found a new home at the Burlington Community Boathouse. We couldn’t be more thrilled by our new location! Find us on A Dock, Slip 2, right in front of the ECHO Center.




Have questions about Healing Winds? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information! Don’t see the answer your looking for? Contact us at info@healingwindsvt.org



We love the enthusiasm of our sailor friends and volunteers, and encourage you to sign up as volunteer captain or crew! At this time our model is to use our own dedicated vessel for our guest sails. Having a signature vessel serves our interests and those of our guests in a number of ways. It allows us to equip the vessel in a way that maximizes both the comfort and the safety of our guests. Having our own boat also allows us to control all aspects of the guests’ experience and assure the best possible outcomes.



Healing Winds primarily serves those who are currently in treatment, living with cancer, or who are terminally ill. However, we encourage you to fill out a nomination form for yourself or a loved one.



No! We serve guests of ALL ages with ALL types of cancer!



Congratulations! A volunteer will contact you within 48 hours to discuss scheduling your sail. They will be able to answer any questions you may have about sailing with Healing Winds. We look forward to sailing with you!



We have many volunteer opportunities that do not require sailing experience! Healing Winds is volunteer driven organization. We rely on the support of volunteers with many different talents and interests. Please fill out a volunteer form and we will contact you to discuss all of the volunteer opportunities.



Our sailing excursions are 3 hours long- departing at 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 5:30pm, Tuesday – Sunday. We can accommodate up to 10 guests per sail.



We strive to make all of our sailing excursions relaxing, refreshing and memorable for all of our guests! Our dedicated vessel, “Gypsy Wind,” is fully equipped with all safety equipment to put your mind at ease . We will always work with you to make sure all of your guests are as comfortable as possible and will tailor your sail to your needs. Our volunteer crew will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.







Suzanne Johnson
Founder, Executive Director, and Licensed USCG Captain

Suzanne is a survivor. Not just spinal meningitis and cancer, but in many others ways in her personal life. Being challenged over and over gave her the opportunity to really understand ‘priorities’ in life and what truly is important. ‘Giving back’ and making a difference in someone’s life with a sense of purpose IS what is important to Suzanne.

With a strong vision, Suzanne founded HealingWindsVT.org a new non-profit using sailing as a safe, fun and therapeutic experience to ensure that cancer patients, caregivers and family members have the opportunity to take a break from their challenges of everyday life of living with the uncertainty of cancer.

Suzanne lives in Shelburne, Vermont with her three children.  She can often be found engaging in a variety of outdoor activities, including sailing, skiing, group fitness, kite boarding and more.



Board of Directors




Mark Perkell
Board Member

Mark is a legal and business adviser who offers his services to business clients primarily in start-up to mid-stage development. He advises and guides business people and entrepreneurs on a wide array of critical topics including: strategic business development, intellectually property, regulatory and strategic partner/joint venture relationships, business entity formation (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC’s), contract drafting and negotiation. Mark currently serves as a board member of R.O.C. Inc., the Kids Rehab Gym and Healing Winds. Easily recognizable in a crowd for his signature hats, Mark can also frequently be seen with a camera around his neck photographing owls and such. He lives in South Burlington, VT with his artist wife Suzanne Clark and their two felines fur persons: Fume’ Blanc and Lily.

Private: Kathie S. Weibust
Board Member

Kathie retired from UVM the summer of 2014 after 37 years as Associate Director of Admission. She and her family enjoyed volunteering (Make-A-Wish Foundation wish granter and event volunteer, Women Helping Battered Women weekly hotline volunteer, food server at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving Day) and had planned to look for meaningful volunteer work. Instead, Kathie was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and had her right lung removed. After a winter and spring of chemo and recuperating from surgery, she heard about HWVT and has been volunteering there ever since! That fall she was asked to become a member of the Board. Kathie is very passionate about Healing Winds and believes she gets as much personally as she gives, especially since the return of cancer in her other lung. There is nothing more healing than time on the lake sailing; being powered by the wind and breathing in the healthy air! Kathie has 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and her King Charles Cavalier Lucy.

Dwayne Williams
Board Member

16 years ago, Dwayne’s family lost a son, brother and a friend to many. Jarred Williams passed away from a brain tumor on his 13th birthday. For ten years Dwayne’s family dedicated their lives to assisting other families who had a child with a chronic and life threatening illness. (2002-2012)

Wanting to continue to support cancer patients, Dwayne’s family has spent the past few years volunteering, advocating, and being there in any way they could.

June of 2017 changed Dwayne’s life, he met Suzanne Johnson on the Burlington Bike path, and with support of his family, he is dedicating time and effort in continuing to support the many families affected by this terrible disease through Healing Winds Vermont. As he personally knows, cancer affects so many people in different ways.

Deana Rock
Board Member

Deana Rock is a serial entrepreneur that has been entwined in both the analog and digital spaces. She launched a printer supply business in 1995. Eventually, Deana was partnered with North America’s largest mail order company which propelled her business ahead. In 2009 she left analog for the digital world, initially landing in WiFi. Shortly after learning about WiFi in public spaces, she co-founded a digital marketing company that included mobile apps, digital signage, social media, analytics, and web marketing. She now has a small digital marketing business called SoteDesign in Burlington, VT.

Jeff Barron
Board Member

Jeff was born in St. Johnsbury, VT and is  the youngest of 5 older siblings. He went to Rice High School (’82), and then went on to UVM to get and undergraduate degree in Computer Science (’86) and an MBA with a concentration in Finance (’89).

Jeff is the Director of capital forecasting and analysis at National Life Group in Montpelier, VT. He is a seasoned financial professional with experience across a wide range of industries in multiple capacities, including corporate FP&A, mergers & acquisitions, treasury, credit & collections, asset management and investment management.

Darrel Depot
Board Member

Darrel Depot has owned and operated PuroClean for over 13 years and Co-Owner of CMD Construction Company. Darrel previously worked in industrial automation, manufacturing, organizational performance and executive level business consulting. Darrel has a wife and two children residing in Hinesburg, Vermont. PuroClean Managed Services is a locally-owned and family-operated fire, water, smoke and mold professional restoration company and CMD Construction assist clients in the need of repairs and rebuilding after a catastrophic event.

Erin Centonze
Board Member